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The 350 MW +/-150 kV Estlink HVDC Light® link was an EU priority project designed to build up the Trans-European power network and be an important step toward creation of an open and competitive electricity market in the Baltic region.

Estlink is owned by a special purpose company called Nordic Energy Link AS, made up of five Baltic and Finnish utilities: Eesti Energia Latvenergo, Lietuvos Energija, Helsingin Energia and Pohjolan Voima. The link crosses the Gulf of Finland and is connected to substations near Tallinn, Estonia and Helsinki, Finland.

The whole link is either underground or underwater, and power is transmitted via high-tech extruded (oil-free) HVDC Light® cables - there are no overhead lines. Estlink is part of the Baltic ring and allows for power exchange between the Baltic countries (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) and the Nordel grid.

Estlink provides a variety of benefits for transmission grids in Estonia and Finland, such as emergency power control, damping control, voltage or reactive power support, and frequency control. A special feature of the Estonian power system is a black-start capability, to help restore the Estonian power system in case of blackout. Long term, Estlink could also enable energy imports from Nordic countries.

ABB received the contract for the entire HVDC Light® link: converter stations and DC cables. The whole project was completed in 19 months.

Main data

Commissioning year: 2006
Power rating: 350 MW
No of circuits: 1
AC Voltage: 330 kV (Estonia), 400 kV (Finland)
DC Voltage: ±150 kV
Length of DC underground cable: 2 x 31 km
Length of DC submarine cable: 2 x 74 km
Main reason for choosing HVDC Light®: Length of land cable, sea crossing and non-synchronous AC systems
Application: Interconnecting grids

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