The European Union's Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA) on Monday signed a €720 million grant agreement with the electricity transmission system operators of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland for the Baltic synchronization project.
This represents the largest amount of funding ever attributed from the Connecting Europe Facility Energy (CEF-E). The project aims to better integrate electricity grids of the Baltic states with the ones of the rest of continental Europe and ensure their energy independence from third countries, the European Commission said.
The commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson (Center) said the agreement marks a decisive step in the Baltic synchronization process, a project of strategic European interest that needs to be completed by the end of 2025.
"This will ensure not only the full integration of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania into the internal energy market, but also facilitate the take-up of renewable energy in the Baltic states and Poland, helping them achieve the European Green Deal objectives," Simson said.
Following previous funding awarded in 2019 for the reinforcement of the internal grids of the Baltic states, the grant signed on Monday will be mainly dedicated for the construction of Harmony Link - an electricity cable connecting Poland and Lithuania through the Baltic Sea. The cable will become a building block for allowing the integration of offshore renewable energy resources.
This funding will also cover synchronous condensers in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and reinforcements of the Polish grid that will ensure the full functionality of the Harmony Link and safe operation of the system.
With continuous support from the European Commission over the years, the leaders of the three Baltic states and Poland reached a landmark agreement on June 28, 2018 and signed a political roadmap for accomplishing the synchronization by the target date of 2025. The Political Implementation Roadmap was subsequently signed in June 2019.
Editor: Helen Wright