AST and Elering will study the possible on-shore connection sites for the ELWIND off-shore wind project
The Transmission System Operators - Latvian AS Augstsprieguma tīkls (AST) and Estonian Elering AS, in scope of the ELWIND project, together with an Estonian consultant Skepast & Puhkim OÜ will carry out an in-depth study of possible onshore land line corridors towards the planned offshore wind park sites which have been identified in the Latvian and Estonian maritime spatial plans.
This study envisages the study of all possible on-shore land line corridors towards the areas in the sea marked in the maritime spatial plan where wind farms could be located, from the electricity transmission system connection points in Latvia and Estonia, thus, this study will serve as a basis for planning other potential wind farm connections and not only for the purpose of planning and implementation of the ELWIND project.
In order to facilitate the implementation of the ELWIND project until 2030, the Latvian and Estonian electricity Transmission System Operators AST and Elering, as responsible for the development and operation of the electricity transmission network, on 28th of April 2021 have signed a Cooperation Agreement (The Cooperation Agreement for the ELWIND Pre-Study Phase) for further research, including a more detailed study of route options (The Right-of-Way study). Based on the results of the procurement announced on 2nd July 2021, the consultant Skepast & Puhkim OÜ with a contract price of 67,800 EUR was selected as the researcher.
Based on the maritime spatial plan of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development approved by the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Latvia and signed on 14 May 2019, possible sites for the development of off-shore wind farms in the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Riga were identified. Accordance with the "Latvian National Energy and Climate Plan for 2021-2030" developed by the Ministry of Economics in 2020 on 18th of September 2020 by the Latvian Ministry of Economics and the Estonian Ministry of Economics the first steps for the development of the offshore wind farm project, called ELWIND, were outlined in the joint Memorandum of Understanding, signed by the both parties with the target of the joint implementation of the Estonian-Latvian offshore wind farm project.
AST and Elering are responsible for the transmission infrastructure assets and operation as well as they are responsible for the off-shore wind parks connection to the onshore transmission network. The signed contract will help to do the joint studies. Taking into account that in the ELWIND project two countries are involved the project might pretend on the status of regional importance and receive EU funds from CEF RESS (The Connecting Europe Facility of renewable energy) structure funds. The rules and requirements for the allocation of structure funds will be known after 2022.