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New NPP, Baltic States' synchronisation with the European Continental Network discussed in Lithuania

Petras Vaida, BC, Vilnius, 18.10.2013.Print version
The Ministry of Energy in Lithuania presented to the Cabinet results of the Feasibility Study on Synchronisation with the European Continental Network, proposals for the common independent power generation in the Baltic states, and steps for the future, informs BC press service of the government.

Detailed information was presented to the Cabinet meeting, as to what had been achieved in the area of common power generation of the Baltic States and their synchronisation with the European Continental Network.
In consideration of results of improvement of Visaginas nuclear power plant project funding conditions, the joint position of the potential investors, and open issues related to the project implementation, the Government decided to propose, together with Estonia and Latvia, to form an inter-governmental commission on strategic matters in electricity sector, to deal with the common Baltic states’ power generation and synchronisation with the European Continental Network, as well as functioning of the electricity market. The Ministry of Energy was also charged to initiate the formation of an inter-institutional commission to deal with the open issues related to Lithuania’s competence, as presented in the potential investors’ joint position on the economic assessment of the new nuclear power plant project.  

To enhance the project maturity and competitiveness, it is planned to propose to the potential investors to draft a shareholders’ agreement to establish a company of the project, to deal with the company-level open matters, to carry out the search for new investors, to conduct negotiations on the contract agreement for the nuclear power plant, to carry out reassessment of asset contribution (site), as well as to carry out other project development activities.        
On the integration of the Baltic states electricity grids into the EU’s internal electricity network via synchronisation with the European Continental Network: the Baltic transmission systems operators, together with the Swedish consultancy Gothia Power AB, have carried out a feasibility study for the Baltic states synchronisation with the European Continental Network (hereinafter, ECN) by the year 2020.             

The study, which has been carried out together with representatives of the European Commission and ENTSO-E, states that synchronisation of the Baltic states and the European electricity grids is technically, legally, and economically feasible.   
The study concludes that the operation under the synchronized mode in the Continental European Electricity Network is feasible technically, i.e. in terms of energy flow distribution in electricity grids, system control, and stability. However, in order to join ECN for synchronous operation depending on synchronization scenario, the Baltic states, Poland, and the Kaliningrad Region need to strengthen the existing power transmission systems, upgrade systems for system and generator control, ensure the necessary capacity reserves, as well as equip with the necessary BtB convertors with Russia and Belarus. Particular attention should be paid to the parameters of the installed capacity value at the Visaginas nuclear power generator, as well as to the reserves, in case of the implementation of this project. No major legal or regulatory barriers to synchronize with ECN have been found.

Considered scenarios: Baltic synchronisation with the European networks with and without Kaliningrad. The study investigated the following three synchronization scenarios:

1. Synchronisation of the Baltic states with the IPS/UPS;

2. Synchronisation of the Baltic states and Kaliningrad with ECN system (via the interconnection: Kaliningrad-Poland or the second interconnection: Lithuania-Poland);

3. Synchronisation of the Baltic states with the ECN, asynchronous with the Kaliningrad Region (Baltic energy systems in sync with ECN without Kaliningrad).


Furthermore, the study has found that the project of the largest generation unit in the Baltic States (NPP) can be compatible with the synchronization with the continental Europe. However, it calls for timely necessary technological solutions combining interests and capacities of all the regional partners. Specific aspects related to technological integration of VAE in the mode of Baltic power system synchronisation with the continental Europe, as well as financial issues should be subject to an individual analysis.

Synchronization of the Baltic power systems with EU networks is among the key projects of common interest made public by the European Commission on 14 October. Baltic synchronisation with the ECN needs EU’s financial support. As an EU project of common interest, it becomes eligible for assistance from the EU Energy Facility, which might cover 50-75% of project implementation costs in 2014-2020.

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