RIGA - Latvijas Veja Parki (Latvian Wind parks), a joint venture of Latvenergo power utility and Latvijas Valsts Mezi (LVM) state forest manager, will invest EUR 1 billion in wind parks, one of the largest investments in Latvia's history, said Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins (New Unity) at the foundation event on Monday.
The prime minister said that even before Russia started its invasion in Ukraine on February 24, Latvia had started to think how to ensure energy independence in order to ensure sensible electricity prices and competitiveness.
Karins underscored that renewable energy resources should be used, including wind energy. After this project is implemented, Latvia might become an exporter of electricity. At present, Latvia generated 40 percent of the necessary power and imports 60 percent. So far the main source if imports was Russia, but now this should be forgotten, said Karins.
"This is a medium-term solution that will help us to become fully independent," said the minister.
Economics Minister Ilze Indriksone underscored that the planned wind parks will have a capacity of 800 MW, which means they will generate 2.4 TWh a year, which is about 30 percent of last year's energy consumption.
Latvenergo board chairman Martins Cakste noted that establishment of the joint venture is the most important event in the energy sector since construction of Kegums and Plavinas hydro power plants.
He said that the first results will be achieved in two-three years, and the project will be fully completed in five years. He said that the project will not use any kind of state support, it will be a fully commercial project, allowing both state-owned companies earn profit and pay dividends into the state budget.
The new wind parks will have 100-120 wind turbines. The state budget is expected to receive about EUR 50 million in its budget from this project annually.
As reported, Latvijas Veja Parki was registered on July 22. The company's share capital is EUR 2 million and it belongs to Latvenergo (80 percent) and LVM (20 percent).