No Showstoppers for Estonian-Latvian Offshore Wind Development

BLIX Consultancy has found no issues stopping Estonia and Latvia from building offshore wind and related transmission infrastructure in the countries’ sectors of the Baltic Sea.

This is according to a four-tier study commissioned by Elering AS and Augstsprieguma tīkls (AST), which consists of an offshore technology catalogue, review of high-level planning, Pre-FEED study and Right-of-way study, in order to evaluate the feasibility of future offshore transmission infrastructure projects.

Developing a tool for the assessment of costs of possible offshore assets was the aim of the technology catalogue, BLIX said, while taking into consideration various possible wind park sizes.

As part of the right-of-way study, the company will also analyse the time schedule for the electrical connection works of a potential offshore wind farm in the Baltic Sea.

Latvia and Estonia started discussions for a joint offshore wind project, named Elwind, in December 2019. A year later, the countries’ governments signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop a 1 GW offshore wind farm in the Gulf of Riga.

The two countries’ transmission system operators (TSOs), Elering and AST, joined forces again in 2021 to identify the best offshore and onshore routes and grid solutions. That same year, Elering also revealed its plans for a large offshore grid connection in the Baltic Sea, for which Elwind would be the first step.

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In September 2021, the Ministry of Economics of Latvia announced that a decision on selecting specific areas for further development within the ELWIND offshore wind project could be adopted in early 2022.

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This move followed after Hendrikson & KO and Pondera Consult were awarded a contract for a pre-feasibility study to assess the pre-selected development areas and submit a proposal for the best location to build the offshore wind farms.

The project, which is expected to be commissioned by 2030, will produce approximately 3.5 TWh of electricity per year, or approximately 40 per cent of Estonia’s annual electricity consumption.

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Photo: Siemens Gamesa/Illustration