Soaring electricity prices have increased interest for new power stations

Wind turbine at Aidu Wind Park in Ida-Viru county.
Wind turbine at Aidu Wind Park in Ida-Viru county. Source: Rene Kundla/ERR

Data from Estonian network operator Elering shows that there is increased interest in developing new power stations in Estonia. In total, there have been applications to create 2,665 MW of new production capacities on Elering's network.

While earlier years have seen an average of two applications to join the network, there have been 25 applications submitted to Elering this year, the company said.

"There is interest to add rather great capacities - the average applications is for more than 100 MW. What is remarkable, is that there have also been applications for storage stations to go with solar stations," Elering spokesperson Ain Köster told ERR.

The spokesperson noted that 18 of the 25 applications are for the development of new solar power stations. One of the applications was made for a new wind farm.

The total production capacity of all applications is 2,665 MW, the average capacity per application is 107 MW. The average capacity for the three storage device applications is 234 MW and the network capacity would be 231 MW.

"An interesting comparison is that the existing capacity of network connections is more than 3,000 MW. Meaning, the applications submitted this year are almost to the level of the existing network. Processing the applications requires careful analysis to figure out how such capacities fit into the network and how should the network be developed," Köster said.

Submitting an application to Elering means the applicant already has a project and land use permit, meaning the applicant is at least somewhat serious in their intentions to develop power stations. In addition, the applications come with processing fees. Still, submitting an application does not necessarily mean a power station will be developed.

New production capacities could enter the network around 2023. "The contract offers often include works to increase the capacity of overhead lines in addition to connections. This is financed by the applicant, but Elering manages the procurement. In this case, the connection point will be completed 18-30 months after a contract is signed and fees are paid," Köster said.

At the same time, Köster said, there have been connection contracts, which do not require network improvement works, which means the production capacities are sufficient at substations and lines. "In this case, the client can implement the production capacity essentially immediately after signing a connection contract, having fulfilled their previous obligations during the process," the Elering spokesperson said.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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