Enterprise Estonia gives Elektrilevi grid join-up boost

Estonia's national brand, as presented at the 2018 City Nation Place Awards.
Estonia's national brand, as presented at the 2018 City Nation Place Awards. Source: Enterprise Estonia

Enterprise Estonia, which promotes business and regional policy in the country, is offering up to €100,000 in support to businesses joining state-owned electricity distribution network Elektrilevi's grid.

Startup and operating entrepreneurs outside the two largest cities, Tallinn and Tartu, and adjacent municipalities, are eligible for support under the scheme. In addition to costs relating to joining the grid, costs connected with increasing network capacity or investing in electrical connectivity improvements can also be covered from the support, Enterprise Estonia said.

"For businesses, joining an electricity grid or improving the capacity of a grid in use may constitute expenses of tens or hundreds of thousands of euros, since activities often include building new power lines or substations," Elektrilevi head of connection services Kaija Vill told BNS on Thursday.

The support is capped at 60% of the cost of the project, and applications can be submitted via Enterprise Estonia's site. No deadline for applications has been indicated.

The minimum support level stands at €5,000.

Since 2010, more and more suppliers have been joining the Elektrilevi grid. In 2018, 2,315 operators joined, a nine-year high, it is reported.

As of the beginning of 2019, Elektrilevi supplied 504,269 customers, approximately 91% of all Estonian households and enterprises which consume or produce energy. 

Elektrilevi said that joining the grid takes 23 days on average, assuming the process does not require any design work. Establishing connections requiring more extensive construction takes on average 220 days, it said.

"This includes developing the technical solution, design and construction. All of it is accompanied by coordinating the works with relevant institutions, local authorities and land owners," Ms Vill continued.

The average available medium voltage connection capacity per connection point is 1,000 kW, and the average joining fee stands at €67,000 inclusive of VAT. In 2018, the joining fee for medium voltage transmission varied from €8,100 to €1.17 million.

Elektrilevi is the largest network company in Estonia, managing approximately 60,000 km of power lines and 24,000 substations, as well as street lighting networks in Tallinn and Tartu. It is also constructing a high-speed internet network.

Established in 2000, Enterprise Estonia promotes business and regional policy in Estonia and is one of the largest institutions within the national support system for entrepreneurship, through providing financial assistance, counselling, cooperation opportunities and training for entrepreneurs, research institutions, the public and non-profit sectors.

Editor: Andrew Whyte

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