Available capacities for connection of producers now exhausted in Elektrilevi’s grid in western Saaremaa
Public interest in renewable energy has grown exponentially in recent years. Unfortunately, neither the power grids of Elektrilevi nor Elering are ready for changes of such magnitude in capacities, and in certain regions the quotes provided to customers are extremely expensive due to grid upgrades. Previously, such a situation arose in Hiiumaa, and now we are in a similar position in western Saaremaa.
We would like to remind our customers that the generation of electricity for personal consumption is still possible in every region of Saaremaa.
‘For new producer connections, it should be taken into account that in western Saaremaa the capacities available in 35 kV lines have been exhausted, and connecting additional producers requires increasing the transmission capacity of the existing power lines. In western Saaremaa, the cost of the grid upgrades needed for this is around €2 million or more in several cases. This is currently the case for potential future producers in Nasva, Läätsa, Kihelkonna, and Sõrve Peninsula,’ stated Rasmus Armas, the head of asset management at Elektrilevi, about the critical situation in the region.
‘Elektrilevi has already started the reconstruction of the 35 kV overhead line connecting the regions of Leisi and Läätsa. With the installation of a conductor with a larger cross section, the transmission capacity of the line will increase by a factor of three, and in the future the transmission capacity of the line will increase further when the line voltage is increased to 110 kV. The procurement of the construction of this line can be announced once the local government has issued a building permit. If the permit is issued soon, we can commence the work as early as spring 2023. At a meeting with the representatives of the rural municipality government of Saaremaa, we found reassurance that we are working towards a common goal and are taking steps to achieve that goal,’ Armas added.
Meanwhile, the grid also needs to be upgraded at the lines between Kuressaare and Läätsa, which, together with the increase of the voltage of the line between Leisi and Läätsa to 110 kV, will require an additional investment of over 22 million euros. In addition, increasing the generating capacity for the transmission network has become highly costly – at the Sikassaare substation near Kuressaare, the connection of a producer that generates 1 MW requires an investment of 34 million euros to replace transmission lines. Elektrilevi has discussed the issue with the state, in collaboration with whom the best solution is currently being sought.
Precise calculation of quotes will take time, as Elektrilevi’s engineers need to analyse each case individually. We ask for your understanding, as it may take more than 60 days to receive a quote at this time.