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Estonia completes second synchronous condenser needed to uncouple from Russian grid

The Kiisa Synchronous Condenser Station.
The Kiisa Synchronous Condenser Station. Source: Elering

Estonia's transmission system operator Elering has successfully tested its new synchronous condenser plant in Kiisa. Estonia will build a total of three condenser stations for the purpose of maintaining power grid frequency after decoupling from the Russian system.

Elering said Monday that the Kiisa synchronous condenser station passed a short test on Friday night. The aim was to check whether the plant is capable of continued operation in a case of a grid disturbance.

"The successful test gives us certainty that the condenser station can remain operational in the case of whichever disturbances to support the inertia of the grid and supply power generation in the short term," Elering said.

The contractor will hand the plant over the Elering in early January.

Estonia's first synchronous condenser in Püssi was fired up in May of this year, while the third will be built in Ida-Viru County next summer. All three will be constructed by Siemens Energy. The plants cost €60 million, with the EU providing 75 percent of the cost.

The synchronous condensers are meant to ensure the stability of the power grid once the three Baltic countries will decouple from the Russian electricity system to join the continental Europe frequency area in early 2025. Latvia and Lithuania will also build three synchronous condensers each.

The condensers provide the system with inertia, helping to slow the speed of frequency changes, which buys time for firing up reserve capacity.

Elering's press representative Kätlin Klemmer said that the completion of the second condenser means Estonia is even better prepared should desynchronization with the Russian grid happen unexpectedly, even though Estonia has long since been ready for that eventuality.

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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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