European power grid to be expanded to the Baltic States

Date

2018 10 12

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The ENTSO-E (European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity) Regional Group Continental Europe has adopted a decision to expand the synchronous grid of Continental Europe to the Baltic States.

The Baltic States are already part of the European electricity market, and the transmission system operators in these countries are ENSTO-E members, so the decision to add Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia to the synchronous grid of Continental Europe is a natural step.

“As yet another step forward, this shows that that synchronisation is no longer just a project for the Baltic States, Poland or the European Commission, and that all of Europe is starting to get involved. It is extremely important that the EU countries consider Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia joining the European electrical grid to be a natural process,” said Minister of Energy Žygimantas Vaičiūnas. 

This is a historic event – from this moment, ENSTO-E will begin to prepare a list of technical requirements that the Baltic States will have to meet before joining the synchronous grid of Continental Europe. It is planned that this document, the “catalogue of measures”, will be prepared by the end of Q1 2019. 

“We view the decision to allow us to join the grid of Continental Europe very seriously, and take it as a vote of confidence that we will do our homework and prepare properly for synchronisation,” says Daivis Virbickas, CEO for Lithuanian TSO, Litgrid AB.

The request for expansion of the synchronous grid of Continental Europe was submitted to ENTSO-E on the 21st of September by Polish transmission system operator PSE together with the Baltic operators.

At the same time (on the 10th of October), the Baltic transmission system operators submitted an application to the European Commission (EC) to finance the first stage in the synchronisation of the Baltic electrical grids with Continental Europe. The total amount being requested is EUR 432.5 million, and it is expected that the EU will contribute to this project with 75 per cent funding intensity. Lithuania’s share of the initial amount requested is EUR 167.045 million. These investments will cover the first of three stages of synchronisation.

Reconstruction and optimisation of the north-eastern Lithuanian electricity transmission network is currently under way in Lithuania. This will make it possible to prepare and adapt the existing infrastructure for safe disconnection from the Russian BRELL energy ring and synchronisation with the European power system.

In order to improve supply reliability in the Vilnius region, the Vilnius–Elektrėnai Power Plant overhead power line development project is being implemented, and preparation work is being done for the new Vilnius–Neris overhead power line. These connections are also important in preparing for disconnection from the Russian BRELL energy ring and synchronisation with the European power system.