Elering has applied to the Consumer Protection and Technical Regulatory Authority to be granted a superficies license for constructing the third electricity interconnection between Estonia and Finland, with the onshore connection point situated in northwestern Estonia.
The third electricity interconnection with Finland will further contribute to the security of supply, achieving climate and energy policy goals, and bind the Baltic and Nordic countries into an even more cohesive market area.
“We have analyzed various potential locations for EstLink 3 and we now consider northwestern Estonia to be the most promising area. For security reasons, it will be appropriate to build the new interconnection as far as possible from the existing ones. In the long term, this route option will allow connecting the development areas of offshore wind farms that could potentially be built in the area of western Estonian major islands with the resilient power grid,” said Kalle Kilk, Chairman of the Management Board of Elering. Elering has analyzed various regions west of Tallinn. “When comparing the alternatives, northwestern Estonia shows the best assurance for the future,” added Kilk.
Elering applied for a superficies license for the submarine part of EstLink 3 along with the coordinates for the potential onshore connection point of the submarine cable in Lääne-Nigula municipality. The exact location of the route may change in the course of the procedure related to the license. The location of the interconnection also depends on the onshore connection point of the planned submarine interconnection in Finland.
The application submitted by Elering is not currently related to the overland infrastructure of EstLink 3. A separate planning procedure will be initiated for planning the objects located on land along with any related activities and involving the interested parties in the planning process. Discussions are currently being held on the state and local government level as to what type of planning procedure should be used for determining the location of the overland part of EstLink 3.
In Estonia, the planned EstLink 3 consists of a direct current submarine cable, overland cable, a converter station with a potential location around Aulepa, and a new 330-kilovolt overhead transmission line on land which will connect EstLink 3 to the existing 330-kilovolt grid in western Estonia. Power lines will need to be additionally reinforced elsewhere in Estonia before launching EstLink 3.
The European Commission has added the EstLink 3 project to the list of projects of common European interest, which creates the prerequisites for involving the support of the European Union for financing the new interconnection.
EstLink 3 has a planned capacity of 700 megawatts. The investment decision on constructing EstLink 3 could be made in the second half of the decade after the planning procedure has been completed. The interconnection could be completed in the middle of the next decade.
There are currently two electricity interconnections operating on direct current between Estonia and Finland. EstLink 1 with a capacity of 350 megawatts was completed in 2006, and EstLink 2 with a capacity of 650 megawatts was completed in 2014.