Eesti Energia CEO would use Estlink 3 to link Baltic wind farms

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

CEO of national energy company Eesti Energia Hando Sutter said that the Estlink 3 undersea power cable could run along the western Estonian islands to reach Latvia. TSO Elering is currently planning to install the next cable between Estonia and Finland in Paldiski.

Sutter told ERR that the next external power links should be planned where the most new generation capacity will be created.

"It would make sense for the link from Finland to run over the western Estonian islands, Hiiumaa and Saaremaa all the way to Courland where the Latvians have a strong network," the CEO explained. "This would strengthen international power links and could take renewable capacity on its path on board – offshore and terrestrial wind farms, why not island solar parks."

Sutter said that it would be cheaper than building separate links to Finland and new capacity elsewhere at the end of the day.

Current plans prescribe laying down Estlink 3 in Paldiski.

Getlyn Allikivi, director of Elering's maritime network program, said it would be technically more complicated and expensive to have the links run through different wind farms, compared to an A to B solution between two countries.

Allikivi added that the TSO is already reinforcing the grid in western Estonia, while these efforts are taking place on land. "The Harku-Lihula-Sindi line that continues into Latvia could be a hub through which Estlink 3 could move power north [to Finland] or south to us. We are giving our developers new opportunities to export their output using the transmission network."

Elering is also planning new links to Saaremaa.

However, Hando Sutter said that the links might not be completed at the same time as new production capacity.

Sutter emphasized that better external links do not have to be the solution to expensive energy in a situation where it is possible to generate power more cheaply in Estonia. "That is why we should think once more about why we are building Estlink 3."

"We will be generating more power here, in Estonia and Lithuania, where Enefit Green is constructing several wind farms, which will reduce the need for links to other countries. But what we do need are links to which new renewable capacity can be added," Sutter explained.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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