First pumped hydro energy storage unit in Estonia given green light for construction


Construction on a 550MW/6GWh pumped hydro energy storage project in Estonia will begin in summer 2024 after it was given the green light by regulators.

The project, Energiasalv, uses a Zero Terrain structure whereby it is built mostly underground, minimising the environmental and land use impact.

It will be built in Paldiski, in the northwest of the Baltic country, with commercial operations expected by 2028. It will provide flexibility services on the Nord Pool Spot power market, which covers the Nordic and Baltic regions together.

The project is co-owned by Estonia-based holding company Alexela, renewable energy developer Sunly, and Vool OÜ, a firm owned by the CEO of the project’s holding company Peep Siitam.

“Having completed our permitting process with the Estonian Consumer Protection and Technical Regulatory Authority, we are glad to announce that we will continue with the pre-qualification for the construction procurement in the beginning of February. We aim to finalise the tender process by the end of 2023 and start construction on the project in the summer of 2024,” said Sander Astor, CTO of Energiasalv.

The announcement said the project’s 6GWh energy capacity – a 12-hour duration – is “comparable to the average daily electricity consumption of Estonian households.”

The Baltic countries – Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia – are currently part of Russia’s electricity system but are in the process of disconnecting from it to synchronise with continental Europe through a connector between Poland and Lithuania, the Harmony Link project.

Energiasalv is not the only pumped hydro energy storage project that Estonia is looking to add. Last year, reported on a 225MW unit being planned by state-owned company Eesti Energia in Ida-Virumaa, on the other side of the country. That project is slated for completion by 2025-26, and would also mostly be underground.’ publisher Solar Media will host the eighth annual Energy Storage Summit EU in London, 22-23 February 2023. This year it is moving to a larger venue, bringing together Europe’s leading investors, policymakers, developers, utilities, energy buyers and service providers all in one place. Visit the official site for more info.

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