Baltics agree to move up European power grid synchronization target

Electricity transmission lines.
Electricity transmission lines. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Estonia and Latvia reached an agreement with Lithuania to once again move up the three Baltic countries' desynchronization from the Soviet-era BRELL grid connecting them to Russia and Belarus and synchronization with the synchronous grid of Continental Europe — bringing the new target date up to February 2025.

According to the plan, the three Baltic countries would formally notify all parties of their departure from the BRELL grid in August 2024, and synchronization with the synchronous grid of Continental Europe — also known as Continental European Synchronous Area, or CESA — would occur in February 2025.

Synchronization had previously been slated to take place at the end of 2025.

Next, the three countries' respective system operators will finalize the technical details involved, following which the prime ministers of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania will make a final political decision.

Russia's full-scale war on Ukraine has increased the risks to ensuring the Baltic countries' energy security as well, Minister of Climate Kristen Michal (Reform) said following a meeting with his Latvian and Lithuanian counterparts in Riga. He added that the three ministers' meeting was a sign of the Baltic countries' strong unified energy security policy.

"Although the Baltic countries don't buy electricity from or sell electricity to Russia, nor do we pay Russia for sharing a grid frequency, we're nonetheless historically physically linked to the aggressor state's electricity system, and under the current geopolitical circumstances, the Baltic countries are prepared to work hard together to move toward withdrawing from Russia's electricity system and joining the Continental European grid faster than initially planned," Michal said.

Lithuania had long since pressured Estonia to move ahead with synchronization sooner than originally planned. Estonia had previously repeatedly been against moving the synchronization target up, citing risks involved to its own power grid's operational continuity, as following the switchover, Estonia would figuratively be located at the tip of the CESA peninsula.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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