Riga (dpa) - Latvia plans to invest about ?1 billion ($1 billion) in the construction of wind farms to increase power generation from renewables and strengthen energy security, Prime Minister Krisjanis Karin said on Monday.
"This is a medium-term solution that will allow us to become fully independent in our energy supply and use fewer fossil resources," Karins said in Riga, according to Latvian news agency LETA.
Karins described it as one of the largest investments ever undertaken in the small Baltic country that borders Russia.
After the project is implemented, Latvia could go from being an electricity importer from places like Russia to an exporter, he said.
Economy Minister Ilze Indriksone said the planned wind farms will have a capacity of 800 megawatts. This could produce 2.4 terawatt hours of electricity per year - the equivalent of about 30% of Latvia's total electricity consumption in 2021, she said.
A newly founded joint venture between Latvia's electricity utility and the state forestry administration is responsible for the construction and operation of the wind farms, which will have a total of 100 to 120 wind turbines.
Latvia had stopped importing electricity from Russia in May. However, like Estonia and Lithuania, Latvia is still part of a joint synchronized power grid with Russia and Belarus - the BRELL ring system, which dates back to the Soviet era. This means that the Baltic states remain connected to the grid of the two neighbouring countries in the east.