Grid distributor Elering has announced its environmental impact assessment program tender for the planned Estlink-3 undersea electricity connection, linking Estonia with its northern neighbor Finland.
The connection will terminate on the Estonian side of the Gulf of Finland, at Paldiski.
The project may find EU support; Elering says the project has also been submitted towards the pan-European 10-year network development plan, and will be submitted also to the EU's list of projects of common interest. The latter in turn is the basis for applying for EU co-financing.
The Estlink-3 connection will be approximately 80km in length and will be constructed along similar lines to the existing Estlink-1 and Estlink-2 cables, via the Paldiski-Keila route corridor.
The connection will consist of a high voltage, direct current marine network cable, the continuation cable on dry land, plus 30 KV overhead lines and one transformer sub-station.
Its power rating will be between 700 MW and 1,000 MW, though this is yet to be agreed upon.
Estlink-1 and Estlink-2 combined have a total capacity of 1,000 MW – the three connections together would have a transmission capacity greater than that of Estonia's peak consumption level of approximately 1,500 MW.
Estlink-1 went online in 2006, Estlink-2 in 2013.
The third cable was decided on in summer, and would begin work in the first half of the 2030s, it is estimated.
Tenders for the environmental impact assessment report are due by December 6, while the report must be completed within a year of signing the contract.
Estlink-1 went off-line due to a technical fault earlier this week, though state-owned generator Eesti Energia say this will not unduly disrupt Estonia's electricity supply, nor lead to even higher prices.
The current, changed security situation has led to the already-planned decoupling from electricity and other energy supplies originating in the Russian Federation, while desynchronization from the Russian grid and synchronizing with the "mainland" EU one is due for 2024, ie. prior to Estlink-3 starting work.
Editor: Andrew Whyte, Barbara Oja