Elering and Augstsprieguma tīkls (AST), the electricity transmission system operators (TSO) of Estonia and Latvia, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to jointly develop the fourth interconnection between the two countries. The new interconnection will increase the transmission capacity between Estonia and Latvia and enable the integration of renewable energy sources (RES) in the Baltic Sea region.
The fourth interconnection will be built in hybrid mode, meaning that it will not only connect the electricity systems of the two countries, but also allow the connection of offshore and onshore RES production capacities. The project will enhance system security and stability, as well as contribute to the climate goals of both countries. The exact location and technical details of the interconnection will be agreed later, but the preliminary capacity is assumed to be 1000 megawatts and the completion date is expected to be by 2035.
Elering and AST have agreed to cooperate on preparatory activities, including several studies, to select the best scenario for the interconnection development. The project is expected to receive co-financing from the European Union CEF grants and has been included in EU development documents. The final decision of project implementation will depend on the EU support.
Kalle Kilk, chairman of the board of Elering, said that Elering is exploring the possibility of establishing a new connection between Estonia and Latvia from Saaremaa to Kuramaa in Latvia. “This would provide the most additional capacity between the two countries at the lowest cost,” he said.
The fourth interconnection is the next step in increasing transmission capacity between Estonia and Latvia. The third interconnection was completed and started operating in 2020. Two other interconnections are also under construction as part of the Baltic States synchronization project with continental Europe, which is expected to be finished by 2024.