German renewable energy company RWE and state-owned power supplier Latvenergo will team up to develop, construct and operate offshore wind projects off the Latvian coast.
The partnership was cemented with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in which the two companies committed to support the development of offshore wind in order to strengthen Latvia’s energy independence.
Latvian minister of economics, Ilze Indriksone, stated: “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…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.”
MārtiņšČakste, chairman of the management board and CEO of Latvenergo, stated: “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.”
Sven Utermöhlen, CEO Offshore Wind of RWE Renewables, added: “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.”
Latvia’s National Energy and Climate Plan aims to increase wind capacity from the current 70MW to 800MW by 2030 and plans to open the ELWIND tender, a 1GW cross-border offshore project in collaboration with Estonia. RWE and Latvenergo will use their experience in offshore wind development and knowledge of the Latvian energy market to capitalise on these development opportunities.
RWE currently operates 18 offshore wind farms across five countries; including Kårehamn (48MW) off the Swedish coast, the Danish offshore wind farm Rødsand 2 (207MW) and the 385MW Arkona wind farm in the German Baltic Sea.
Founded in 1939, Latvenergo is engaged in the generation and trade of electricity and thermal energy, as well as distribution of electricity. The company is increasing its portfolio of renewable energy generation, focusing on the development of high-capacity wind power plants as an economically beneficial source of clean power.