Baltics formally apply for EU funding for power grid synchronization

  • 2018-10-11
  • LETA/TBT Staff

VILNIUS - The Baltic power transmission system operators on Wednesday submitted an application to the European Commission for EU funding for the first stage of the Baltic power grids' synchronization with the continental European system, the Lithuanian Energy Ministry confirmed to BNS.

They are asking for 432.5 million euros in funding for this stage of the project, which is estimated to cost 1.5 billion euros in total. The EU is expected to cover 75 percent of the cost.

October 11 was the deadline for Lithuania's Litgrid, Latvia's AST and Estonia's Elering to submit the application for funding under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF).

According to Lithuanian Energy Minister Zygimantas Vaiciunas, this is the first application for the project's funding. The first stage will involve reinforcing internal grids, the second stage will involve building a submarine cable, and then other technical solutions will follow.

The approved technical scenario calls for synchronizing the Baltic grids via the existing LitPol Link interconnection between Lithuania and Poland and a new submarine cable between the two neighboring countries, as well as for installing synchronous compensators at hydro power plants in the three Baltic states.

Sources have told BNS that between four and nine compensators, each costing around 25 million euros, would be installed and their total operating costs would range from 400 million euros up to 4 million euros, depending on the number,

The three Baltic countries and Poland in late June signed a political agreement on the power grid synchronization. The project is expected to be completed in 2025.

The Baltic grids are still part of the post-Soviet BRELL ring, which also includes Russia and Belarus, and remain dependent on the control center in Moscow and the Russian electricity system.