Baltic power grid synchronisation agreement signed in Brussels

Leaders of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker signed the synchronisation agreement in Brussels on Thursday. 28 June, 2018. Source: (Triin Oppi/Government Office)

Government leaders of the three Baltic countries and Poland together with President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker on Thursday signed a political agreement for deliberating the synchronisation of the Baltic power grid with the Continental European network via one LitPol link and an undersea cable.

At a special ceremony in Brussels on Thursday, Juncker, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre), Latvian Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė and Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki signed the political roadmap on the synchronisation of the Baltic countries' electricity networks with the Continental European network.

The deadline set for concluding the synchronisation is 2025, which is to be carried out via an existing LitPol link between Poland and Lithuania and an undersea cable. The latter, however, will only take place on the condition that it ensures energy security, security of supply and that its costs are within reason — a corresponding study should be completed by fall 2018.

"Since the beginning of our mandate, my Commission has been committed to having full integration of the Baltic states' grids with the rest of Europe," Juncker said according to a press release. "It is our duty and a question of necessity for the Baltic states and for the EU. We have worked to build consensus, and have now signed such consensus. In this roadmap, we set the target date of 2025 for full synchronisation. With patience, hard work and a spirit of compromise, we managed to find European solutions that are built on solidarity and strengthen our union."

The political agreement was initially to be signed last summer already, but the countries involved were unable to resolve their differences at the time. Namely, Estonia favoured synchronisation with the Nordic countries or by using a second alternative current (AC) connection with Poland in addition to the existing LitPol link. Estonia and Latvia were both of the latter period for an extended length of time, including up to last month. This approach was unacceptable to either Lithuania or Poland, however.

In order to help solve the dispute, several studies were conducted addressing three possible options: the existing LitPol link, two LitPol links, or the existing LitPok link together with the undersea cable.

Although studies showed that the best option would be synchronisation through two alternating current connections, the European Network of Transmission System Operators (ENTSO-E) will now conduct a new study focused on synchronisation via the existing LitPol link and a new undersea direct current (DC) connection and additional investments to synchronisation compensators, electricity system stabilisers and other stabilisation mechanisms.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

Source: BNS

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