Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete posted the news on social media during the first day of the European Commission's ‘PCI Energy Days’, a policy conference and exhibition dedicated to the practical implementation of Projects of Common Interest (PCIs).
Canete described the deal as an "important milestone in our ambition to improve security of supply in the Baltic region."
Today we signed a €323 million grant to integrate the Baltic States’ electricity system with continental Europe. This is another important milestone in our ambition to improve security of supply in the Baltic region and reinforce European solidarity. #PCIdaysEU 🇪🇪🇱🇻🇱🇹🇪🇺 pic.twitter.com/LQx9shEfvh— Miguel Arias Cañete (@MAC_europa) March 19, 2019
The electricity network of the Baltic States is already connected to other EU countries. Electricity interconnections have been built with EU support between Estonia and Finland (Estlink I and II), Latvia and Sweden (Nord Balt), and Lithuania and Poland (LitPol Link), in line with the aims of the Commission's Baltic Energy Market Interconnection Plan. For historical reasons, however, the Baltic States' electricity grid is still operated in a synchronous mode with Russian and Belarusian systems. The project will allow for the synchronous operation of the Baltic States' electricity network with European networks and so enhance energy security.
There are also plans for a third Estonia–Latvia interconnector which will consist of a 211 km-long transmission line that will contribute to the synchronisation of the Baltic States with European networks,. It will also increase the competitiveness of the electricity markets in the Baltic region and boost the use of renewable energy sources in Baltic coastal areas, by allowing for the construction of off-shore wind parks in Estonia and Latvia. The project should be completed by 2020.
More details of the synchronisation plan are available at the European Commission website.
Day 2 of the PCI energy days event on March 20 is available to watch live online and you can read the agenda online too.