Baltic grid synchronization plan expected by summer, EC vice-president says

DELFI / Šarūnas Mažeika

“Synchronization is an important issue and we’ve agreed that we’ll do our utmost in order for the EU’s Joint Research Centre to provide the results this year on what proposals would look the most economically viable and what would be the most economical solution for the process of synchronization… Experts will do their modelling and planning and should make proposals around summer this year,” he said after a meeting with Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius in Vilnius on Monday.

The synchronization solution proposed by experts would help continue with the development of this project that was important for energy independence of the Baltic countries, he said.

“Then we’ll need political decisions from the Baltic countries that this is the way to go. Then we’ll have to work on technical and financial aspects and also to communicate with our neighbours, which will be affected by this synchronization. It is in our common interest to have this complicated task completed by 2025,” the official said.

The Baltic countries are currently part of the so-called BRELL energy ring, which connects Belarus, Russia, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia. Lithuania has already built power links, including converter stations, which connect its 330kV grid to the 400kV grids of Poland and Sweden.

The 330kV electricity systems of the Baltic countries would need higher voltage in domestic grids in order to operate synchronously with the European grids.

The reasons pushing the Baltic countries to pursue synchronization with the European grids are not purely technological. Energy industries of the three countries have stated repeatedly that the operation of the BRELL ring is centrally-controlled and coordinated from Moscow, which, however, does not provide any information about its plans to the Baltic members of the system.

Synchronization with the continental European grids would make the management of the grid more decentralized, therefore the Lithuanian electricity transmission system operator Litgrid would take over the majority of grid management functions. Moreover, the European countries are more inclined to coordinate their actions.

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