Estonian and Latvian electricity transmission system operators (TSOs) Elering and Augstsprieguma tīkls (AST) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the development of the fourth Estonian-Latvian electricity interconnection. This new interconnection will increase transmission capacity between Estonia and Latvia, contributing to developing renewable energy sources in the Baltic Sea region.
The fourth Estonian-Latvian interconnection is planned to be built in hybrid mode. Thus, in addition to connecting the electricity systems of the two countries, it would also be possible to connect RES offshore and onshore production capacities to it. The exact location of the interconnection and other technical details will be agreed upon in later stages. Based on the previous evaluation and technical analysis, the working version of interconnection capacity is assumed to be 1,000 megawatts (MW). The connection could be completed by 2035 with the accompanying investments in transmission infrastructure.
“The new interconnection is an important step of transmission capacity increase between Estonia and Latvia, which is essential for the development of renewable energy sources (RES) in Latvia and Estonia, both onshore and offshore,” said Arnis Daugulis, Member of the AST Board. “We see this cooperation as the first step towards creating an interconnected hybrid transmission grid in the Baltic Sea, thereby contributing to the goals of decarbonisation and RES development for the whole Baltic Sea region.”
Elering and AST have agreed to cooperate to make preparatory activities, including several studies, which are a prerequisite to selecting environmentally friendly and technically economically preferable scenarios for making future investment decisions regarding the interconnection development. Elering and AST expect to receive co-financing from the European Union CEF grants for the evaluation and construction of the interconnection and have taken all the necessary steps to include the project in EU development documents. The final decision on project implementation will be made after the European Union’s support becomes clear.
According to Kalle Kilk, chairman of the board of Elering, Elering is exploring the possibilities of establishing a new connection between Estonia and Latvia from Saaremaa to Kuramaa in Latvia. “Establishing a new connection to Latvia via Saaremaa would enable the most additional capacity between the two countries to be obtained at the lowest cost,” he noted.
The fourth interconnection is the next logical step with the increase of transmission capacity between Estonia and Latvia.