Estonia and Latvia to Build Fourth Power Line Based on Renewable Energy
The electricity system operators of Estonia and Latvia, Elering and Augstsprieguma tīkls (AST), have agreed to collaborate on the construction of a new Estonian-Latvian power connection. This fourth Estonian-Latvian connection is planned to be built as a hybrid link, enabling not only the connection of the electricity systems of the two countries but also the integration of renewable energy production facilities, as reported by ERR.
Kalle Kilg, the CEO of Elering, mentioned that his company is currently exploring the possibilities for the new power line, which is expected to stretch from Saaremaa in Estonia to Kuramae in Latvia. He stated, "Establishing a new connection with Latvia via Saaremaa would provide the highest additional capacity between the two countries at the lowest cost."
The exact location of the connection point and other technical details will be agreed upon later. The planned operating capacity of the connection is 1000 megawatts. The connection could be completed in the 2030s with accompanying investments.
To plan the new power lines needed for the construction, Elering filed a request with the Ministry of Rural Affairs last week to begin a national special plan and environmental impact assessment.
The goal of Estonian-Latvian cooperation is to prepare several studies to find an environmentally sustainable, technically and economically feasible solution that would enable an investment decision for the connection.
Elering and AST are also hoping to secure funding from the European Union for the construction of the connection. The final decision on the project's implementation may come after the European Union's support is clear.
The previous third Estonian-Latvian power line became operational in 2020. Two older connections, which cross the Estonian-Latvian border near Valga, are being restored by Elering as part of the major project to synchronize the Baltic countries' energy systems with the continental European energy system.
Currently, the repair work on the first connection is complete, and the reconstruction of the second connection is planned to conclude by the end of 2024.
In related developments, the European Union is providing an additional €1.1 billion for the Rail Baltica project to construct the Connecting Europe Facility Railway.
Romania and Ukraine have also announced the construction of a joint new road bridge, connecting the two countries for the "safe transit of Ukrainian products and the development of border crossing points" between Ukraine and Romania.