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Elering: Baltic power grid's autonomous capacity should be strengthened

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania plan to desynchronize from the BRELL energy network by 2025.
Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania plan to desynchronize from the BRELL energy network by 2025. Source: (Elering)

Although in the longer term the Baltic power grid has to be synchronized with European power grids, according to Estonian transmission system operator Elering, th Baltic power grid's ability to function autonomously must be increased in the shorter term as well.

Since the three Baltic countries and Poland have not been able to reach an agreement in regard to synchronization with the Western European power grid, it would be reasonable to increase the capability to function as an energy island if Russia should cut the Baltics off from its power grid, Elering communications chief Ain Köster told BNS on Tuesday evening.

He added that if Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania increased this capacity, they would win some extra time to reach an agreement on synchronization.

European Commission Vice-President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič on Tuesday visited Elering's emergency reserve power stations built for increasing the reliability of the power grid. The main topic of the meeting was the desynchronization of power grids.

Elering provided Šefčovič with an overview of the circumstances which result in the need to desynchrnize the Baltic countries from the Russian BRELL electricity ring as well as the requirements the process needs to fulfill.

"Our first priority is to find a short-term solution which would keep the lights on in Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian homes if, for some reason, we should unexpectedly separate from the Russian joint power grid," Elering CEO Taavi Veskimägi said after the meeting.

This would provide the opportunity to work out long-term solutions for cooperation of the Baltic power grid. "A long-term solution would have to be market-based, financially acceptable to consumers and at the same time guarantee operational reliability on a sufficient level," Veskimägi added.

Connection via Poland best option

Thus far, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland have yet to reach an agreement on how to desynchronize the Baltic power grid from the BRELL power system and synchronize it with the Western European one.

According to the findings of the European Commission's Joint Research Centre, the best option for the Baltic states would be via two LitPol Link interconnections, which would cost a total of €770-960 million. Synchronization via a single LitPol link would cost €900 million, while synchronizing the Baltic states with the Nordic region would cost an estimated €1.36-1.41 billion.

After Latvia and Estonia voiced doubts about single-link synchronization, Lithuania's electricity transmission operator Litgrid proposed to build a second link after 2025, the planned deadline for project completion and disconnection from the BRELL electricity ring.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

Source: BNS

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