EC picks first three renewable energy cross-border projects

Offshore wind. Source: Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).

September 2 (Renewables Now) - The European Commission (EC) has announced three projects that make up the first list of renewable energy cross-border projects under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF).

The CEF includes a EUR-875-million (USD 857m) window to support renewables cross-border projects in the 2021-2027 period.

Featuring on the first list are a hybrid offshore wind park between Estonia and Latvia, a cross-border district heating grid between Germany and Poland, and a green power and hydrogen project in several countries.

The list of projects will enter into force after two months of scrutiny by the European Parliament and the Council. Projects that get a "cross-border renewable energy project" status can apply for CEF funding for studies and works, with a call for proposals expected to be launched in November. The EU says these projects will support both the European Green Deal and the REPowerEU plan.

The three projects include the ELWIND offshore wind project, which envisages the construction of two offshore wind parks, one in Estonia and one in Latvia, and annual renewable electricity production of about 3 TWh to 3.5 TWh, according to an announcement by the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency. It involves a hybrid grid connection with interconnector and transmission lines to link the two countries.

The projects also include an initiative for climate-neutral distinct heating in Goerlitz, Germany and Zgorzelec, Poland based on renewables generation of 160 GWh per year. The district heating networks of the two cities will be connected with a cross-border pipeline. A feasibility study is currently underway, with the project seen to be realised by 2026.

The third project calls for the construction of new renewable power plants in Italy, Spain and Germany to power production of green hydrogen and ammonia destined for off-takers directly in the Netherlands, but mainly for use in Germany, including in hard-to-abate industries.

“The three projects selected today are only the beginning: we are accelerating the deployment of renewable energy across the EU and moving towards a more collaborative approach as we do so. The full potential for green transition and decarbonisation of the EU can only be realised through joint efforts across all sectors, technologies and regions,” said Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson.

At the same time, the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency said that two projects have been selected to receive a total of EUR 300,000 under the 2021 CEF Energy call for preparatory studies for cross-border renewable energy projects.

The first project is led by Regionalwerk Chiemgau-rupertiwinkel and will study the feasibility of a supra-regional supply of district heating, encompassing Bavaria in southern Germany and Upper Austria and Salzburg in Austria. Such a heating system would be supplied by waste energy from local industry, geothermal and bioenergy plants.

The second project selected is of Estonian energy company Eesti Energia AS, which together with partners aims to build up to 2 GW of offshore wind farms in the Gulf of Riga in Estonian and Latvian waters, potentially coming online by 2030. The EU grant will support the ongoing environmental impact assessment and update the cost estimate of the wind farm.

(EUR 1 = USD 1.000)

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Browse all articles from Plamena Tisheva

Plamena has been a UK-focused reporter for many years. As part of the Renewables Now team she is taking a keen interest in policy moves.

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