Latvia is seeking bids for supply of 404,000 MWh of wind electricity a year between 2010 and 2019, requiring an estimated 135 MW of installed capacity, more than four times the current 27 MW scattered around nine Latvian sites, including the 33-turbine Veja Parks facility. The economy ministry is offering an initial purchase price of LVL 70.28/MWh (EUR 102/MWh) to the successful bidder. The submission deadline is December 30, 2008, with the contract to run through the end of 2019. Of the three Baltic nations of Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania, Latvia, has been the slowest to put its wind resource to work, even though, as a net energy importer dependent on Russia, the country needs 300-700 MW of additional generating capacity by 2012. So far it seems to have its hopes pinned on a flow of nuclear power from a potential replacement of Lithuania's Ignalina facility. Paulis Barons of the Latvian Association of Wind Energy welcomes the call for bids and the price offered, but says that locking an investor into a purchase price for a whole decade that does not take inflation into account creates a difficulty. Gaining grid connection in Latvia is also a large hurdle, he says.
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