RWE and Latvenergo forge offshore wind alliance

4C Offshore | Tom Russell
By: 16/09/2022 RWE

RWE and Latvenergo have joined forces to develop, construct and operate offshore wind projects off the Latvian coast. A corresponding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the two companies.

Latvia aims to increase its wind capacity from currently approximately 70 MW to 800 MW by 2030. In addition, the country plans to open a tender in the future for the 1 GW ELWIND cross-border offshore project in collaboration with Estonia. In its budget for 2023, the Ministry of Economy has allocated just over €1.9m towards commencing the Latvian-Estonian project. The park is currently undergoing an environmental impact assessment process, which is expected be completed by 2023.

Latvian Minister of Economics, Ilze Indriksone, states: “The sea has a special meaning for us, previously we have generally seen it as an environmental resource, a recreational resource and an opportunity to enjoy nature. Today, the meaning has changed, but it is not gone. That is why the involvement of state-owned companies is more than welcome in research, development and in cooperation with international partners. Concluding agreements in research accelerates our goal of reaching energy security and energy independence.”

Founded in 1939, state-owned Latvenergo is engaged in the generation and trade of electricity and thermal energy, and distribution of electricity. Approximately half of the electricity is generated in three large-scale hydropower plants. They are complemented by combined heat and power plants, where electricity is obtained from natural gas. Latvenergo plans to further develops new green wind and solar energy generation capacities and aiming to lead in the field of electromobility services.

Mārtiņš Čakste, Chairman of the Management Board and CEO of Latvenergo, said: “The Baltic Sea wind off Latvia’s shores is a national treasure with untapped potential. Going forward, this will undoubtedly increase the energy independence of Latvia and neighbouring countries, and will enable the export of electricity to the growing European electricity market. Latvenergo has 80 years of expertise in renewable energy, as demonstrated by our generation portfolio of hydropower plants and onshore wind and solar farm projects. By effectively harnessing the power of both the Daugava River and the sun, as well as Latvia’s onshore and offshore wind, the country will have its own independent electricity in all types of weather conditions and at lower prices.”

RWE currently operates 18 offshore wind farms in five countries with a total capacity of around 3 GW (RWE pro-rata share). This includes Kårehamn (48 MW) off the Swedish coast, the Danish offshore wind farm Rødsand 2 (207 MW, RWE share: 20%) and Arkona, with 385 MW one of the largest offshore wind farms in the German Baltic Sea (RWE share: 50%). In addition RWE is well advanced in the development of its 350-MW F.E.W. Baltic II wind farm off the Polish coast and is progressing with the development of the 1.6-GW Södra Victoria project off the Swedish coast.

By 2030, RWE intends to grow its offshore wind capacity from currently 3 GW to 8 GW (this capacity represents RWE’s share only). Globally, RWE is driving an offshore wind development pipeline of 10 GW with secured offshore rights. The company has a particular focus North America, the Asia Pacific region and attractive markets in Europe in particular – including the Baltic States.

Sven Utermöhlen, CEO Offshore Wind of RWE Renewables, commented: “Offshore wind is key to meeting the increasing demand for renewable power in Europe, supporting local industries and creating new, future-proof jobs. Together with our partner Latvenergo we are committed to contributing towards delivering Latvia’s offshore wind ambitions – hand in hand with the local communities and supply chain. We bring more than 20 years of experience and technical expertise in the offshore industry to this partnership.”

For more information on offshore wind farms worldwide, click here.