The planning stage of a new high-voltage line connecting Estonia and Latvia is about to begin, and the project slated for completion for 2020 is the most important part of decoupling Baltic electrical systems from Russia. Total desynchronization would happen sometime after 2025.
Estonia can buy power from the Nordics through the two Estlink cables, but since the Baltics are connected to the Russian power system and the frequency is maintained by Russian power plants, Russia could theoretically leave the countries in the dark. That is considered a remote possibility, though, ETV reported.
"If Russia should make such a move, it would be in trouble itself because we're part of a circuit that supplies St. Petersburg. If you take out one link, Russia would have problems with the functioning of its power system," said the Economy Ministry's energy department head, Timo Tatar.
The head of the Estonian transmission system operator Elering, Taavi Veskimägi, said that if Russia cut off power along the lines to the Baltics, Kaliningrad would also be shut down.
"This isn't official information, but there are efforts toward being able to keep Kaliningrad up and running as an isolated island, but it isn't realistically possible today as far as we know," he added.
In 2007, the Baltics decided as a "just in case" move to decouple their systems from Russia's and sync up with Western Europe. That will take time and investments.
"Desynchronization will require various infrastructure projects to be completed in Estonia and in the Baltics as the timetable is related to these projects being finished.
Tatar said above all, the third Estonian-Latvian connection is needed, plus three connections between Lithuania and Poland.
A total of 150 million euros would have to be invested in Estonia.