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On Monday, Elering signed a contract with Empower and Leonhard Weiss for renovation of the Balti-Tartu 330-kV high-voltage line at a cost of 30.8 million euros not including VAT. The renovation of the line is a key step for disconnecting the Estonian electricity system from the Russian power grid and connecting it to the continental European electricity system.

The Balti–Tartu high-voltage line to be renovated currently has a total length of 168 kilometres. For 133 kilometres, the line will become a two-circuit 330/110-kV overhead line. The remaining 35 kilometres from Balti substation to Jõhvi will be dismantled. Along this segment, the Balti-Tartu overhead line’s role will be taken over by the existing Balti-Püssi overhead line.

Along its entire length, the Balti-Tartu overhead line to be renovated will also start supporting, in addition to the 330-kV line, 110-kV voltage class lines. This will allow Elering to dismantle 150 km of depreciated 110-kV power lines and free these corridors from restrictions related to high-voltage lines. In total, about 750 hectares of land will be free of high-voltage lines and associated restrictions, and the owners will henceforth be able to use this land area without restrictions.

The path of the Balti-Tartu high-voltage line corridor and tower locations will not change, due to which no major logging will need to take place. The line corridor will only need additional timber cutting on a few tens of hectares in order to maintain a required protection zone.

As the Balti-Tartu high-voltage line is part of the Estonia-Latvia electricity connection, increasing the capacity of the line is an important part of renovation. In winter, the capacity of the line will grow by one-third and in summer temperatures it will be nearly triple what it was before.

Elering will pay for the Balti-Tartu line renovation from both European Union (EU) funds and income from auctioning transmission capacities. Rates for Estonian consumers will not be raised by the cost of the renovation.

Construction on the Balti-Tartu high-voltage line renovation will begin next spring and span two years. The line passes through seven administrative units -– Toila, Jõhvi, Alutaguse, Mustvee, Jõgeva and Tartu Rural Municipality and the city of Tartu.

Preparations for connecting Estonia and the other Baltic states to the continental European electricity network and frequency area must be completed by the end of 2025. Elering has already entered into a contract for the renovation of the Tartu-Valmiera 330-kV high-voltage line. Besides that, procurements are under way for the renovation of the Viru-Tsirguliina high-voltage line and the construction of three synchronous compensators at key substations of the transmission network operated by Elering.

 

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