Ž. Vaičiūnas: New reliable power plants needed in the Baltic region from 2025

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2017 06 02

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For the first time, a long-term adequacy analysis was conducted for the electric power systems of all Baltic countries. It was prepared based on the system data of the Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian electricity transmission system operators (TSO). Analysis shows that by 2025 new flexible power generation must be installed in the Baltic power system in order to ensure system reliability. The estimations confirm previous statement that the existing double-circuit LitPol Link interconnection could be sufficient for synchronisation after the system is prepared and tested to operate in isolated mode. Analysis showed that after eight years, new, reliable and flexible power plants must appear in the Baltic region in order to ensure smooth power system operation and reliable electricity supply.

According to the Minister of Energy Žygimantas Vaičiūnas, we need to look at the energy question from the regional perspective and take advantage of the opportunities offered by the region. We should not just obtain enough electrical energy, but also ensure the security of the system. Therefore, carrying out a long-term assessment of the three Baltic states as a regional electric power system was an important step. It evaluated the system’s reliability and readiness to provide electricity in critical situations. The next consistent step is to decide on the additional regional generation capacity.

“Having examined Baltic generation adequacy for the next 15 years it is clear that before the synchronisation with the Continental European Networks happens, readiness of the Baltic electrical system to reliably meet electricity consumption needs and provide system services in the region does not raise any concerns. However, during this period, many inefficient and uncompetitive power plants will be closed in the Baltic countries. Therefore, on the regional level, we need to agree and decide on new, reliable, flexible and efficient power generation sources. We have two options to choose from, which are market basis or state subsidies. At the moment, signals from the market do not encourage the development of new generation while subsidisation is always a difficult decision, so we will have some serious discussions”, - says the Minister of Energy Žygimantas Vaičiūnas.

When carrying out adequacy analysis of the Baltic states system, the assessment was made of all information relating to new and set to close electricity generation facilities as well as their technical ability to provide system services. Based on the available data, new reliably accessible generating units with the combined capacity of just 272 MW are set to appear in the Baltic electric system before 2032. While combined generation capacity of the power plants set to close reaches 2315 MW.

“Starting from 2025, when at any moment we should be ready to work in the isolated mode on a completely new qualitative level”, - says Litgrid CEO Daivis Virbickas. “After 2025, the demand of the Baltic system’s reserve will grow from 700 MW to 2000 MW. We see that in severe winter conditions, the system will have a shortage of about 200 MW, and that amount can only be secured from a reliably available especially fast power source”, – says Daivis Virbickas.

The Baltic electricity transmission system operators Litgrid, AST and Elering carried out Baltic generation adequacy analysis for 2017-2032.

Overall, Baltic system adequacy was examined in accordance with five scenarios: if the Baltic electricity system continues to work in the IPS/UPS synchronous area, if it works in the isolated mode, if it synchronises with the Nordic electricity system, if it works synchronously with the Continental European Network through the existing LitPol link and if it works synchronously with the Continental European Network through the two existing LitPol connections.