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Synchronisation press releases

 

Synchronization with continental Europe
 

Based on the National Development Plan for the Energy Sector up to 2030, the long-term goal of Estonia’s TSO when it comes to operating the electricity system is to achieve greater independence from the Unified Energy System of Russia.

In this connection, the Baltic TSOs Elering, AST and Litgrid in September 2018 submitted an official request to the Polish TSO PSE to join the continental European synchronous area. On 21 September 2018, the Polish TSO, PSE, submitted to the continental European regional working group of the European TSO network ENTSO-E the application of the Baltic TSOs to accede to the continental Europe synchronous area.

In the period covered by the development plan, Estonian electricity transmission system will reorient from the current east-west flows to north-south flows of electricity. This process will be aided by the planned new connections between the Baltics and Poland and reinforcements of the power grid within the Baltics, as a result of which the connections between the Baltics will improve and groundwork will be paid to join the continental Europe synchronous area.

Starting from 2016, the transmission capacity between the Baltics and continental Europe is 500 MW (LitPolLink I) and the connection between Baltics and Nordics is 1700 MW (in addition to the already functional EstLink 1 and EstLink 2 connections the 700 MW NordBalt linking Lithuanian and Swedish electricity systems was completed in late 2015). The transmission capacity deficit between Estonia and Latvia will disappear in 2020, when the third transmission line connecting countries will be completed. Before synchronization, a new direct current connection with continental Europe – LitPolLink III – will be completed and the existing DC connection LitPolLink I will be turned into an AC connection. The strong connection of the electricity grids of the Baltic States would render possible the disconnection of the Baltic electric power systems from the current North-Western Russia frequency area and the synchronization of the electric power systems of the Baltic States with the continental European or Nordic frequency area by the end of 2025. The investments for developing the transmission system of Estonian electricity must support achieving the aforesaid objective.


The major phases of synchronization

Synchronization of the Baltics’ electricity system is divided into three major phases:

  1. Renovation and strengthening of the north-south transmission lines within Estonia and the Baltics, plus additional technical solutions for better management of the electricity system. As a result, the readiness of the Baltic states’ power system to operate in “island mode” in emergency situations will improve. The first phase includes investments that should be done one way or another in the next 5-10 years, as the transmission lines – the main objects of the investment – were built principally in the 1950s and 1960s and their service life is coming to an end.

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  2. Developing permanent capability for operating in island mode. Regardless of the scenario and timetable for synchronization, the criterion for the stability and management capability of each national grid is its ability to operate when cut off from its neighbouring systems.. This is set forth in the agreements between European TSOs as the need to ensure security of supply in all situations. At the same time, cooperation provides good opportunities for optimum control of the system. In this phase, investments will mainly be made into technologies related to management of the electricity system, including systems and equipments that ensure frequency stability. The precise volume is related to measures arising from conditions for joining the continental European frequency area, which will be determined after the issuing of the conditions in early 2019.

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  3. In the last phase, the goal is to finally desynchronize from the Russian power system and join the continental European synchronous area.

 

The first-phase investments

The first-phase investments are listed in the Elering investment plan:
 

Name of investment

Status

Planned completion

European Project of Common Interest code (PCI)

Share of the funding provided by CEF

L300 Balti-Tartu

In planning stage

2022

4.8.2

75%

L301 Tartu-Valmiera

In planning stage

2023

4.8.1

75%

L353 Viru-Tsirguliina

In planning stage

2025

4.8.4

75%

Renovation of control systems and installation of SVC equipment

In planning stage

2025

4.8.9

75%

Preparatory work in the Baltics: Baltic AGC system stability control monitoring system (EE part)

In planning stage

2025

4.8.9

75%

Renovation of the Baltic-Tartu-Valmiera 330 kV overhead line

Renovation timetable:

  • Renovation of Baltic-Tartu (L300) 2020-2022
  • Renovation of Tartu-Valmiera (L301) 2022-2024

Lines L300/L301 together with lines L353/L354 form a parallel line corridor between Estonia and Latvia. The renovation of the lines is necessary to reinforce the connections between the Estonian electricity system and the rest of the electricity system in order to create preconditions for synchronous operation with the European electricity system. Upon desynchronization from the Russian power system, the capacity of the power grid between Latvia and Estonia will decrease as the entirety of the capacity transmitted between Estonia and Latvia will be distributed to solely the lines between Estonia and Latvia and there will be no option of routing a part of the capacity flows through the Russian grid. To preserve capacity at the current level and avoid limitations on north-south transit, it will be necessary to increase the capacity of the existing overhead lines. Overall, following synchronization, we will end up with a grid that is at least as strong and completely do away with the influence of third countries on intermarket trading in the Baltic states.

Renovation of the Viru-Tsirguliina-Valmiera 330 kV overhead line

Renovation timetable:

  • Renovation of the Viru-Tsirguliina (L353) line 2023-2025
  • Replacement of conductor and trimming the clearance corridor was carried out in 2015 on a 11.48-kilometre segment of the part of the Tsirguliina-Valmiera (L354) line located on Estonian soil. The complete renovation of the line on Latvian soil is planned for the same interval as the renovation of Viru-Tsirguliina (2023-2025)

Lines L300/L301 together with lines L353/L354 form a parallel line corridor between Estonia and Latvia. The renovation of the lines is necessary to reinforce the connections between the Estonian electricity system and the rest of the electricity system in order to create preconditions for synchronous operation with the European electricity system. Upon desynchronization from the Russian power system, the capacity of the power grid between Latvia and Estonia will decrease as the entirety of the capacity transmitted between Estonia and Latvia will be distributed to solely the lines between Estonia and Latvia and there will be no option of routing a part of the capacity flows through the Russian grid. To preserve capacity at the current level and avoid limitations on north-south transit, it will be necessary to increase the capacity of the existing overhead lines. Overall, following synchronization, we will end up with a grid that is at least as strong and completely do away with the influence of third countries on intermarket trading in the Baltic states.

 

Renovation of the Baltic-Tartu-Valmiera 330 kV overhead line

Renovation timetable:

  • Renovation of Baltic-Tartu (L300) 2020-2022
  • Renovation of Tartu-Valmiera (L301) 2022-2024

Lines L300/L301 together with lines L353/L354 form a parallel line corridor between Estonia and Latvia. The renovation of the lines is necessary to reinforce the connections between the Estonian electricity system and the rest of the electricity system in order to create preconditions for synchronous operation with the European electricity system. Upon desynchronization from the Russian power system, the capacity of the power grid between Latvia and Estonia will decrease as the entirety of the capacity transmitted between Estonia and Latvia will be distributed to solely the lines between Estonia and Latvia and there will be no option of routing a part of the capacity flows through the Russian grid. To preserve capacity at the current level and avoid limitations on north-south transit, it will be necessary to increase the capacity of the existing overhead lines. Overall, following synchronization, we will end up with a grid that is at least as strong and completely do away with the influence of third countries on intermarket trading in the Baltic states.

Renovation of the Viru-Tsirguliina-Valmiera 330 kV overhead line

Renovation timetable:

  • Renovation of the Viru-Tsirguliina (L353) line 2023-2025
  • Replacement of conductor and trimming the clearance corridor was carried out in 2015 on a 11.48-kilometre segment of the part of the Tsirguliina-Valmiera (L354) line located on Estonian soil. The complete renovation of the line on Latvian soil is planned for the same interval as the renovation of Viru-Tsirguliina (2023-2025)

Lines L300/L301 together with lines L353/L354 form a parallel line corridor between Estonia and Latvia. The renovation of the lines is necessary to reinforce the connections between the Estonian electricity system and the rest of the electricity system in order to create preconditions for synchronous operation with the European electricity system. Upon desynchronization from the Russian power system, the capacity of the power grid between Latvia and Estonia will decrease as the entirety of the capacity transmitted between Estonia and Latvia will be distributed to solely the lines between Estonia and Latvia and there will be no option of routing a part of the capacity flows through the Russian grid. To preserve capacity at the current level and avoid limitations on north-south transit, it will be necessary to increase the capacity of the existing overhead lines. Overall, following synchronization, we will end up with a grid that is at least as strong and completely do away with the influence of third countries on intermarket trading in the Baltic states.

 

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