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Elering AS and AS Augstsprieguma tīkls (AST), the Estonian and Latvian electricity transmission network operators, have entered into an agreement within the framework of which they will jointly search for the best potential solutions for connecting the offshore wind farm agreed on between the Estonian and Latvian states with the Estonian and Latvian electricity transmission networks.

The ministries responsible for the field of energy in Estonia and Latvia signed a memorandum of understanding on 18 September last year pursuant to which the two countries are planning a joint offshore wind farm with a capacity of up to 1000 megawatts. The expected time of completion of the offshore wind farm is 2030 and it would produce approximately 3.5 terawatt-hours of electricity per year, which is roughly 40 percent of the annual electricity consumption of Estonia. The related parties to the project development and its pending completion in Estonia are the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications and Elering, and in Latvia the Ministry of Economics, the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia, and AST.

Elering and AST will not start constructing the wind farm by themselves but rather assume responsibility for constructing the marine power grid and connecting it to the mainland network. Since the project encompasses two countries, the project could qualify as a project of regional importance along with the future possibility of receiving co-financing from the Connecting Europe Facility renewable energy fund whose precise conditions will become apparent after 2022.

“Offshore wind power plays an important role in ensuring the security of supply of energy in Estonia and in the entire region in the future. It is important to develop it quickly, on equal and transparent grounds with regard to all developers, thereby enabling the increase in the value of our marine areas in the best manner and with the highest value for the society. Developing the network connections along with the plans and finding the developers via public auctions creates the fastest and most transparent grounds for constructing wind farms in marine areas,” said Taavi Veskimägi, CEO of Elering.

The primary analyses concerning the determination of the potential transmission routes between the western shores of Latvia and Estonia have been conducted, but detailed and closer cooperation is needed in order to perform thorough assessment and move on with the decision-making processes.

The Estonian-Latvian international offshore wind farm and the planned marine connection to which the respective plant will be connected is a separate project from the recently disclosed offshore wind farm planned to be developed by Eesti Energia and Ørsted.

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