TALLINN - The third Estonian-Latvian electricity connection has been completed and was set to commence operation on Friday, Jan. 1; the total cost of the new connection for the two countries is approximately 170 million euros.
On Estonian territory, the connection comprises the Harku-Lihula-Sindi 330/110 kV line and the Kilingi-Nomme-Riga 330 kV line section to the Estonian-Latvian border, according to Elering.
The Harku-Lihula-Sindi line was energized on Dec. 15 and the line from Kilingi-Nomme substation to Riga was energized on Dec. 17 in cooperation with the Latvian system operator AST.
The new Estonian-Latvian connection underwent a testing period until the end of last year. From the start of 2021, the line is usable by the electricity market and adds approximately 600 MW of transmission capacity between the two countries.
"It is a pleasure to acknowledge that the new connection was completed exactly on the initially agreed deadline and according to the initial budget regardless of the difficult epidemic situation and various challenges on the construction sites above all due to warm winters," Taavi Veskimagi, chairman of the management board of Elering, said in a press release.
The new Estonian-Latvian connection significantly contributes to improving the security of supply by reinforcing north-south electricity connections as well as the Estonian power grid in western Estonia. Moreover, the connection is an important prerequisite for connecting Estonia and the rest of the Baltic states to the power grid of continental Europe.
"The completion of the third Estonian-Latvian electricity connection allows for the commencement of renovation work of transmission lines beginning from Narva area that connect with Latvia via Tartu and Valga already in 2021. These must be ready by the time of the change in the synchronous area," Veskimagi explained.
The Harku-Lihula-Sindi line is 175 kilometres long and it was constructed by Empower and Leonhard Weiss as main contractors. The line section from Kilingi-Nõmme substation to the border of Estonia and Latvia is 14 kilometres long and the main contractor for this construction was also Empower.
Elering used European Union support for financing the construction work of the third Estonian-Latvian connection to an extent of 65 percent. The remainder was covered by the auction revenue of transmission capacity between the countries.