Baltic TSOs postpone the Baltics' power system isolated operation test
At a meeting of Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian TSOs held yesterday, on 4th of February in Riga, it was decided to postpone the Baltics' power system isolated operation test. The decision came after learning of the Russian Federation’s TSO decision to hold its own analogous test in the Kaliningrad region on 24-26 May. It was decided at the same meeting in Riga to continue efforts toward creating the capability for the electrical system to operate in island mode.
“We decided in favour of a later test as the Russian TSO announced its plans to carry out their own Kaliningrad island mode test at the end of May, immediately before the scheduled time of our test,” said Taavi Veskimägi, the chairman of the Elering management board. “The Kaliningrad test is planned to last 72 hours and considering that such a large-scale test has not been carried out before, there is a significant likelihood that it will not be successful, which will in turn result in a demand from the Russian TSO to postpone the Baltic states’ isolation test immediately before the planned dates. Elering certainly does not consider it possible to hold the Baltic isolation test unilaterally without an agreement with the Russian and Belarusian TSOs. Our goal is to achieve the desynchronization of the Baltic electrical system from Russia through reasonable cooperation, not confrontation, which unilateral action would lead to. In order to conduct the Baltic states’ isolated operation test, we must guarantee additional production capacities and since Russia has said earlier that they wouldn’t be able to consent to the Baltic states’ isolated operation test should the Kaliningrad test prove unsuccessful, we may find ourselves in a situation where we have already made significant expenditures on production capacity but are unable to carry out the test. It wouldn’t be possible to justify such an expense,” explained Veskimägi.
“But postponing the test of the Baltic states’ electrical system in island mode certainly does not mean slowing down or suspending the preparations connected to the test. On the contrary, we are continuing intensive efforts on the network development, system administration and market organization front and will also continue discussions for agreeing on a new time for the test with our Latvian and Lithuanian colleagues,” added Veskimägi.
During the isolation of the Baltic states’ electrical system, the electricity system would be completely disconnected from the Russian electrical system for 12 hours and made to operate independently in so-called “island mode”, while remaining connected to the Nordics and Poland via direct-current links. To accomplish the disconnection from the Russian grid, all nine electrical lines that link the Baltic states with the bulk of Russian territory and Belarus would be switched off, one by one. Unlike similar tests in the past, the electrical lines between Lithuania and Kaliningrad would also be disconnected and similarly to the Baltics, Kaliningrad’s electrical system would also operate as a separate frequency area during the test.