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European Climate Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency
News article19 April 2022European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency

CEF Energy: towards the synchronisation of Baltic States’ grid with the European energy network

Installation of autotransformers in Alytus (LT)
Litgrid AB

Whilst formerly an "energy island", the Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) are now connected to the European electricity network through various electricity lines linking Poland and Lithuania, Lithuania and Sweden, and Estonia and Finland. That said, the Baltic States' electricity grid is, however, still operated in a synchronous mode with the Russian and Belarusian interconnection systems.

The desynchronisation of the Baltic States' electricity grid from these systems and their synchronisation with the Continental European Network is underway, as this is an essential political priority for the achievement of the Energy Union. This is particularly important given the current geopolitical situation. The relevant grid reinforcements have been included in all EU lists of Projects of Common Interest (PCIs) adopted by the Commission and are proposed for the inclusion in the 5th PCI list.

The Roadmap implementing the synchronisation of the Baltic States' electricity networks with the Continental European Network sets the target date of 2025 for the full synchronisation. In May 2019, the formal extension of the continental European grid to the Baltic States' was approved within the European Network of Transmission System Operators (ENTSO-E) in a process initiated by Polish and three Baltic States’ TSOs.

Taking into account the complexity of the Synchronisation project, it is divided in three phases:

  • Phase I – internal transmission network reinforcements in the Baltic States.
  • Phase II – investment items recommended by the studies performed by the involved TSO and ENTSO-E such as synchronous condensers for inertia, and investment items resulted from the political decision on the preferred synchronisation scenario, such as Harmony link (LT-PL; sea cable), and ENTSO-E catalogue of measures.
  • Phase III – investment items identified at later stages of the process related with third countries (Kaliningrad (Russia) and Belorussia).

Once finalised, the synchronisation of the Baltic States' electricity network with the Continental European Network will complete the energy independence process in the Baltic States as well as provide for security of supply for consumers in the Baltics.

Currently, CEF Energy funds three Actions that contribute to the synchronisation of the Baltic States to the Central European Network. These include two works Actions for missing infrastructure in Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Poland and one study related to Harmony link (HDVC link between Poland and Lithuania).

The first works Action is the Baltic Synchronisation Project – Phase 1 covering internal transmission network reconstruction and reinforcements in the Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia (4.8.1-0021-LTLV-W-M-18). This is followed by the implementation of the Synchronisation Project Phase II (.8.10-0005-LVEE-W-M-20) covering construction of the new submarine High Voltage Direct Current interconnector between Lithuania and Poland (Harmony Link), installation and commissioning of six synchronous condensers in Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania and the construction of one and modernisation of three new or existing Over Head Lines (OHL) in Poland. The studies Action (4.8.9-0008-LTPL-S-M-19) is part of the Baltic Synchronisation Project Phase II. It covers the selection of a route for the Harmony link, seabed survey of the route, tasks related to territorial planning and environmental assessments as well as the preparation of technical and tender specifications for the design and construction phase.

Once Phases I and II of the Baltic Synchronisation project are complete, the Baltic States will be ready to operate in synchronous mode with the Central European Network.

Combined CEF Energy funding: € 1,052,774,750

Countries involved: Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia represented by Polskie Sieci Elektroenergetyczne S.A., Litgrid, Augstsprieguma tikls AS and Elering.

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