Estonia’s Enefit plans wind growth in Baltics as Lithuania sets offshore tender conditions

Estonian state-owned Enefit Green plans to make final investment decisions on a 250MW-plus onshore wind projects in the Baltic states by 2023, the company told Windpower Monthly.

Turbine installation at the 43MW Šilale II wind farm in Lithuania is almost complete (pic credit: Enefit Green)

The 255MW Sopi-Tootsi onshore wind farm is planned for Parnu county in Estonia and is to start producing electricity by the end of 2024.

Enefit Green – the international arm of Estonian government-owned energy company Eesti Energia – is also currently building four wind farms in the Baltic states.

One of these projects – the 21MW Purtse project in Lüganuse municipality, eastern Estonia – will combine wind capacity with 32MW of solar PV. It is expected online in the second quarter of 2023.

It is also building the subsidy-free 75MW Akmene One and 43MW Šilale II wind farms in Lithuania, also due to be fully commissioned in 2023.

Enefit’s 72MW Tolpanvaara project in Finland, which it acquired from Finnish forest manager Metsähallitus in 2020, will be fully commissioned in at the start of 2024.

All projects are “well on the way”, a spokeswoman told Windpower Monthly.

Credit: Enefit Green/YouTube

Offshore opportunity

Enefit also sees offshore wind as a major opportunity, with Baltic Sea states eyeing nearly 20GW of capacity by 2030.

It is working with developer Ørsted to develop the 1000MW Liivi wind farm in the Gulf of Riga, which it believes could meet half of Estonia’s annual electricity consumption when commissioned in 2028.

Enefit has exclusive research rights for the Liivi Bay offshore wind farm, planned for a 183km2 site in Estonian waters. The project was initially planned to deliver power to the Latvian grid – as well as to Estonia – but Latvian authorities rejected this in March 2022.

The company is also developing the 1100MW Hiiu project, north of the island of Hiiumaa.

Enefit is currently carrying out an environmental impact assessment for the project, and will still need to secure various permits before it can start construction, which is scheduled for 2030.

Lithuania’s second offshore tender

News of Enefit’s progress in the Baltics came as Lithuania announced conditions for its second offshore wind tender for up to 700MW.

The tender, which will take place in the second half of 2023, will be subsidy-free and will see developers pay for connection to the land grid, electricity imbalances, an environmental impact assessment and all necessary research.

They will also have to meet national security criteria.

The developer offering the highest fee is expected to win the bid, which will mitigate the effect of high energy prices and promote renewable energy, according to the Lithuanian government.

An accelerated tender and permitting process could see the second offshore wind farm produce power by 2028, Lithuanian officials said.