Estonian-Latvian joint offshore wind farm project kicks off

An offshore wind farm (photo is illustrative).
An offshore wind farm (photo is illustrative). Source: United Nations Photo/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Estonian-Latvian offshore wind farm project ELWIND is progressing rapidly and has reached a notable milestone – a public procurement for a pre-feasibility study, the aim of which is to preselect suitable geographical areas for the construction of the wind farm, has been successfully completed.

A joint procurement to select a suitable contractor for the conduction of a pre-feasibility study of the offshore areas which are available for developing the unique, regionally-integrated wind farm, has been concluded ahead of schedule. The results of the assessment should become available before the end of the current year. Therefore, it is possible that the decision on selecting specific areas for further development may be adopted in the early 2022.

Minister for Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Taavi Aas (Center) said the project's aim is to achieve sustainable, affordable and stable energy production. "We are in the beginning of a long and challenging journey where two good neighbors are efficiently combining their expertise, resources and commitment in order to improve cross-border connectivity and to enhance security of the supply for the Baltics. Furthermore, it is undoubtedly another important step to achieve the goals of European green policy," Aas said.

Latvian Minister of Economy Janis Vitenbergs said that the development of renewables-founded production capacities is of utmost important for the entire Baltic region. "Considering the current state of global energy markets as well as the upward trend, observed in the trajectory of fossil energy source prices, wind-based electricity generation is a vital instrument of ensuring sufficient and stable supply of clean, cheap and carbon-neutral power. We are proud of the magnitude and depth of the cooperation which aim is to create a better future for Latvians and Estonians," Vitenbergs said.

The pre-feasibility study will be carried out by Hendrikson & KO and Pondera Consult. They are expected to assess and model pre-selected development areas for offshore wind park technical capacity installation and submit proposal for the best location of ELWIND wind farms. The aim is to assess several locations of approximately 200 km2 each, assuming a power density of 5-7 MW/km2 for the development of offshore wind parks in the Baltic Sea within Estonian and Latvian exclusive economic zones, based on the assessment of a set of ecological, sustainability, economic and technical criteria.

In 2020, Janis Vitenbergs and Taavi Aas signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which foresaw the completion of the project by 2030. The offshore wind energy farm is planned with the total capacity of 700–1000 MW, which is envisaged to provide over 3 TWh of renewables-based energy per year.

Estonia and Latvia are planning to apply for co-financing for the construction of the grid from CEF RES (The Connecting Europe Facility of Renewable Energy) funds, as ELWIND project involves two countries and it could be qualified as regional status project.

The project is led by Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications of Estonia, Ministry of Economics of Latvia, Environmental Investment Centre of Estonia (KIK) and Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (LIAA).


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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