ELWIND, a joint offshore wind farm project between Estonia and Latvia, received a positive response from the European Union to a request for funding to conduct environmental impact assessment studies.
On 11 July, the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA) unveiled its decision on who will receive funding for cross-border renewable energy projects in the 2023 Connecting Europe Call for Proposals. ELWIND, a joint project between Estonia and Latvia on offshore wind energy, is also among these two projects.
‘The funding agreement has not yet been signed, but CINEA has confirmed that it will allocate us the requested EUR 18.8 million to cover the studies carried out in the maritime area of the two countries,’ Tõnn Tuvikene, ELWIND Project Manager at the EIC, said.
As part of the ELWIND project, it is planned to carry out all the preliminary development phase studies of the offshore wind farm areas with the support of European co-financing, including environmental impact assessment studies and a number of technical studies, which will provide the later project developer with the necessary information about the state of the sea areas. Already in August 2022, ELWIND entered the European Union’s list of priority cross-border renewable energy projects (C-B RES) alongside two other major projects, which provided an opportunity to apply for support for future research this spring.
ELWIND could become one of the role models for hybrid offshore wind farm projects to be developed in the future. ‘Offshore wind energy is seen as one of the pillars of the European Union’s energy market, the potential of which is still far from being realised,’ Tuvikene said.
Currently, the ELWIND offshore wind farm project is still in its early planning stages, and the project promoters have set a goal to complete all pre-development studies by the end of 2026. ‘The ELWIND project is another step towards enabling better connectivity in our region and should be seen as one of the first elements of the future Baltic Sea super-grid,’ Tuvikene emphasised.
ELWIND is a transnational project of Estonia and Latvia for the construction of an offshore wind farm in the Baltic Sea. It is an ambitious and environmentally friendly renewable energy project that will increase the region’s energy independence and security, and keep energy prices reasonable, thus reducing costs for businesses and households. In addition, it creates new business opportunities in the value chain. ELWIND is helping to fill the gap in local large-scale renewable energy production and is contributing to a better functioning of the open energy market.
The role of countries in the implementation of the project ends with the organisation of a more or selective tender, i.e. an auction, which transfers the building rights to a qualified developer. The countries plan to reach the auction in 2027 and the completion of offshore wind farms around 2030.
The ELWIND project is implemented by the Ministry of Climate, the Latvian Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Environmental Investment Centre, and the Latvian Investment and Development Agency. More information about the project is available on the website of ELWIND.