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Elering and the Latvian system operator AST are jointly ordering a survey on the potential onshore route for the offshore electricity connection to be created between Estonia and Latvia.

Skepast&Puhkim OÜ won the procurement for finding the suitable supply route corridors. The work will be completed this year and will cost approximately 68,000 euros.

“The supply route survey is our first joint procurement with the Latvian transmission network operator AST within the framework of the Estonian-Latvian offshore network project Elwind. Its objective is to find suitable supply route corridors from the most powerful substations in the Estonian and Latvian transmission networks to the sea. The work being performed allows both Elwind, and why not various other future projects, to use the most suitable supply route corridors that are discovered,” said Taavi Veskimägi, Chairman of the Management Board of Elering.

While Estonia and Latvia are choosing the best marine areas for developing large-scale offshore wind farms, the procurement in question allows for discovering the most optimal onshore supply route corridors, thereby enabling the immediate launch of the planning process for the construction of the onshore part of the offshore connection.

On the Estonian side, the Estonian-Latvian offshore connection could be connected with the onshore power grid in Lihula, Sindi or Kilingi-Nõmme substations. On the Latvian side, five substations are being surveyed – Ventspils, Dundaga, Aloja, Užava and Tume.

In addition to the choice of supply route corridors, Skepast&Puhkim will provide an input for procurement documents in relation to environmental impact assessment. The latter is an important input for planning proceedings related to the offshore network.

Elering is developing an Estonian-Latvian power transmission network (offshore network) between the two countries, together with AST, within the Elwind project. In the future, large-scale offshore wind farms can be connected to this network. Estonia and Latvia are handling the determination of marine areas suitable for the construction of offshore wind farms on the national level. The plan is to pre-develop the marine areas such as to be able to offer them to private investors via a contest, with the winner being able to immediately commence the construction of the offshore wind farm. The first offshore wind farm should be completed by 2030 within the framework of this project.

In addition to cooperation with Latvia, Elering has launched a project for the construction of an offshore network encompassing the entire Baltic Sea. Several surveys have pointed out that the cheapest and fastest method for meeting ambitious renewable energy objectives is to create an offshore power network connecting the Baltic Sea countries, allowing for the connection of a major volume of offshore wind farms. The Elwind project would be the first step in the development of a major Baltic Sea electricity network.