Eesti Energia: Estlink 1 outage will not severely impact electricity prices

Cross section of cabling of the type used in Estlink 2.
Cross section of cabling of the type used in Estlink 2. Source: Elering

The Estlink 1 failure will not seriously affect electricity prices in Estonia, state generator Eesti Energia says.

The link, which connects Estonia and Finland, went offline Monday. However, since Estlink 2 is still functioning, sufficient supply of electricity from Estonia's northern neighbor is assured, though there may still be disturbances in production which may be passed on to price rises.

Olavi Miller, energy market analyst at Eesti Energia, said: "In our opinion, the failure of Estlink 1 will not significantly affect the price in Finland or the Baltic countries, because the Estlink 2 cable should be adequate to harmonizing prices."

"If the production units in the Baltic countries are in regular operation and [Ida-Viru County power station] Auvere also starts up from tomorrow, then the cable failure will not have a big impact on our market," he went on.

"An effect would manifest if there are disruptions in electricity production in the Baltic States. Enefit Power has carried out all the regular maintenance on the Narva stations, to mitigate this risk, and the Auvere station will also be put back online tomorrow, after a long period of maintenance," Miller added.

As to future risk, Miller pointed to renewables as a needed source.

"Currently, the electricity produced via our hybrid power plants comes at a cheaper price than electricity generated from burning natural gas, but the current energy crisis has demonstrated to us in a very painful way that both Estonia and other regions need additional production capacities, which can offer more affordable electricity. This would derive primarily from wind and solar parks, which Eesti Energia's subsidiary Enefit Green is constantly building more of. In the long term, we also need at least one offshore wind farm to bring prices down," he went on.

The 350MW Estlink 1 high-voltage direct current (HVDC) power transmission connection went off grid earlier this week, due to a technical failure at the Harku converter station.

Estonian transmission system operator (TSO) Elering estimates that it should be back online by next Sunday, December 4.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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