European Commission Recognizes Zero Terrain Paldiski as Vital Step Towards Energy Security and Independence

In the first half of April, the European Commission (EC) published an updated list of Projects of Common Interest (PCI), which includes the Zero Terrain Paldiski, Estonia pumped hydro energy storage (PHS) project.  


This positions Zero Terrain Paldiski as the sole long-duration energy storage project in the Nordic-Baltic region acknowledged by the EC, qualifying it for Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) funding.  


According to Peep Siitam, the head of Zero Terrain, “Long-duration Energy Storage (LDES) provides as much energy security as conventional power plants and interconnectors. Pumped-hydro storage (PHS) is the most mature and affordable LDES technology that supports renewable power generation and reduces customers’ energy bills.” 


“Its carbon-neutral nature and cost-effectiveness make it a cornerstone in renewable energy strategies. Zero Terrain Paldiski PHS introduces a new path for the EU countries, reducing reliance on Russian gas and dependency on China’s dominance in clean technology supply chains. Zero Terrain technology offers the opportunity to apply the benefits of PHS in other EU countries where it was previously impossible due to geographical conditions, ” Siitam explained. 


Zero Terrain’s Paldiski project – the 500MW PHS plant in Estonia – supports the nation’s goal of transitioning to 100% independent renewable energy by 2030 and ensuring lower electricity prices for consumers. 


The EC’s publication of 166 Projects of Common Interest underscores the urgency and importance of energy infrastructure projects, with over half dedicated to energy, offshore wind, and smart grid initiatives. 


Zero Terrain is poised to leverage this recognition to pursue CEF funding, marking the first time PHS technology qualifies for such support. The application window for CEF funding is open from 30 April to 22 October, and Zero Terrain is preparing to access the 850 million euros allocated for energy infrastructure projects. Including Zero Terrain Paldiski on the PCI list signals a significant stride towards a more resilient, secure, and sustainable energy future for Europe. 


About Zero Terrain 


Initiated in 2009, Zero Terrain Paldiski is an EU Project of Common Interest (PCI) project. As a strategic infrastructure project, its preparation has been supported by the Connecting Europe Facility – managed by the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA).  


The Zero Terrain Paldiski obtained the main building permits in December 2022 and is currently open to bidding on the Mercell tendering platform to interested parties worldwide. The construction of Estonia’s first PHS plant will begin in 2025 and commence operations at full capacity in 2031.  


 Zero Terrain’s investors include AS Alexela, Sunly AS, Vool OÜ, Combiwood Group OÜ, Warmeston OÜ, and Ronnivara OÜ. 


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