An electric power substation being built near the small town of Kilingi-Nomme in southwestern Estonia will serve as a hub for the movement of electricity from Estonia to Latvia and vice versa in the future.
The substation is to be completed in the fall. In the next few weeks cutting of forest in the corridor of a nearly 14-kilometer power line to run through the rural municipalities of Saarde and Mulgi will start.
The new substation at Kilingi-Nomme will be part of the 330 kilovolt network that constitutes the backbone of the power supply system. It will be also a part of the third interconnection between Estonia and Latvia.
"Interconnections between the Baltic states will become more important still after we disconnect our electricity system from the Russian frequency area and join the continental Europe area," Ain Koster, spokesman for Estonian transmission system operator Elering, said. "For that reason, the third interconnection with Latvia is the most important investment in Estonia's case."
The substation at Kilingi-Nomme ia being built by AS Merko Infra, winner of a public procurement tender, for 3.1 million euros. Three overhead high-voltage connections will connect the substation with Tartu, Sindi and Riga.
EU funding covers 65 percent of the cost of the project, with the remainder covered with revenue from the auctioning of transmission capacity. Construction work started in mid-August 2018 and the substation is scheduled to be linked up to the power network in September, with handover to the contracting authority slated for November.
"The building of the substation is ready and the primary equipment has been installed, work continues with secondary equipment," Koster said. "Testing and adjusting of equipment is underway, a mast to link the substation with the Tartu-Viljandi-Sindi 330 kilovolt line completed in 2014 is yet to be erected," the spokesman said.
The section of high-voltage power line from the Kilingi-Nomme substation to the Estonian-Latvian border is to be built by AS Empower for 5.4 million euros. Cutting of forest in the 3.8-kilometer corridor of the power line is to start in the next few weeks. The high-voltage line is scheduled to be completed next summer.
"No money of Estonian electricity consumers is used in this project," Koster said.