System tests for the EstLink 2 direct current interconnection between Estonia and Finland were carried out between 22 October and 5 December 2013 by the transmission system operators Fingrid and Elering.
After successful system tests, the tests on EstLink 2 will continue with a trial operation period between 6 December 2013 and 6 February 2014 . During the trial operation period, EstLink 2's capacity will be available for use by the electricity markets. As the connection is still in the testing and fine-tuning phase, restrictions on the use of the link by electricity markets may have to be placed at short notice.
The opening of the EstLink 2 interconnection will have a significant effect on power transmission between the two countries and will also improve electricity markets' functionality and the security of electricity supply. After the commissioning of EstLink 2, the joint transmission capacity between the countries will increase from 350 megawatts to 1.000 megawatts from Estonia to Finland and 850 megawatts from Finland to Estonia. The restriction on transmission capacity to Estonia will remain in place until the reserve power plant in Kiisa is completed in September 2014.
During the autumn of 2013, Fingrid, Elering and Nordic Energy Link (N.E.L) completed negotiations about the ownership of the Estlink 1 interconnection. According to the agreement, the ownership of the link will be transferred to the transmission system operators on 30 December 2013.
The link is due for final handover in February 2014. Its total length is approximately 170 km, some 14 km of which is overhead line in Finland, about 145 km submarine cable laid on the bottom of the Gulf of Finland, and about 11 km underground cable in Estonia.
There are converter stations at both ends of the link, used for converting direct current to alternating current and vice versa. The submarine cable will be connected to the Finnish transmission grid at the Anttila substation in Porvoo. In Estonia, the cable will be connected to the Estonian grid at the Püssi substation in the eastern part of the country.
The total budget for the project is approximately 320 million euros, divided between Fingrid and Elering. EstLink 2 has received 100 million euros investment subsidies from the EU.