Signed Memorandum of Understanding on Estonian and Latvian offshore wind park project

21-09-2020

Janis Vitenbergs, The Minister for Economics of Latvija and Estonian Economy and Infrastructure Minister Taavi Aas have electronically signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the joint project of the Latvian and Estonian offshore wind farm for energy production from renewable energy sources. The aim of the offshore wind park project is to explore and develop the area, as well as the related infrastructure for the creation of a wind park.

 

Jānis Vitenbergs, Minister for Economics, Latvia:

“The development of wind energy over the next decade is very important for the Baltic States. We agree with our Estonian counterparts tha we can achieve higher benefits with lower costs with implementing a joint project. The Memorandum of Cooperation marks the first steps towards identifying the project and carrying out a benefit-cost analysis. And only after it we can decide on further implementation of the project. It is expected that the wind park would be built by project developers identified in the framework of an open competition.”

 

An analysis of the possibilities for the development of offshore wind parks in the Baltic Sea region has identified the potential for cost-effective electricity generation through trans-national cooperation projects. At the same time, the establishment of offshore wind parks would contribute to the diversion of large-capacity electricity generation plants away from residential areas.

 

Taavi Aas, the Minister for Economy and Infrastructure, Estonia: 

“Good neighbours joining forces in major energy projects is the reasonable and cost efficient thing to do,” said Aas. “This kind of cooperation is unique in the world, as two countries will combine their knowledge to improve their grid connections and the security of the supply in the region. It’s equally important that cross-border cooperation makes it possible to apply for European Union co-funding for the construction of the grid.”

 

In 2019, representatives of the Estonian government opened negotiations with the Latvian Party on possibility to implemen the offshore wind park project. In December 2019, the Ministers for Economics of both country reached a conceptual agreement on the implementation of such a project  Subsequently, the Ministry of Economy of Latvia,  in cooperation with the Estonian Ministry of Economy and Communications, started work on the project. The first step identified the need to develop a memorandum of understanding to highlight the project's objectives, relevance and key implementation principles and steps.

 

The purpose of the Memorandum of Understanding is to promote the development of common offshore wind zones between Estonia and Latvia and to enable offshore wind farms to be built in order to increase renewable electricity production and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It also intends to contribute to ensuring cost-effective national contributions to the EU renewable energy target and to ensuring sustainable, secure and affordable energy supplies in Estonia and Latvia.

 

The Memorandum of Understanding establishes a non-binding framework for the joint management and financing of the offshore wind park project between the Ministry of Economy and Communications of Estonia and the Ministry of Economics of Latvia. The exact distribution of costs and benefits will be determined on the basis of the results of the feasibility study and the cost-benefit analysis. It is expected that the development and infrastructure of the project could involve co-financing of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), and it is therefore planned to send an application for European Union funding within the CEF for research activities in the near future. The project aims to create a high capacity (at least 700-1000 MW) offshore wind park by 2030.

 

The implementation of the joint project of the Latvian and Estonian offshore wind park is included in the Latvian National Energy and Climate Plan for 2030.

 

Division of Public Relations

Ministry of Economics

Latvia

prese@em.gov.lv

Last update:    21-09-2020