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Electricity network development projects lay the foundation for synchronisation with Europe
2016-02-23

Electricity network development projects lay the foundation for synchronisation with Europe

Having implemented the most important strategic electricity interconnection projects that connected Lithuanian and Poland with Sweden’s electricity systems, Litgrid has now focused on the national strategic goal of leading the Lithuanian electricity system towards synchronous operation with the networks of continental Europe.
 
“The synchronisation with West European networks is a complicated project, involving various technical, engineering, and information technology decisions. While taking into account its time schedule, scope, and investments, each particular area of work must already be planned and started. The synchronisation also requires international agreements and domestic network development projects, some of which will already be started this year,” said Daivis Virbickas, Litgrid’s CEO and Chairman of the Board.
 
The reconstruction of the transformer substation of the Ignalina nuclear power plant is one of the projects mentioned above. The substation was brought into use in 1981, and it was one of the largest electricity transmission points in eastern Lithuania. After its closing, the Ignalina nuclear power plant went from being a huge electricity generation centre to one of the largest consumers of electricity, due to the present and future storage areas of its nuclear fuel. The reconstruction will involve the replacement of all the substation’s old equipment and the re-mounting of connection points to accommodate the international electricity links  coming in from Latvia and Belarus.
 
The reconstruction of the transformer substation at the Ignalina nuclear power station is planned to continue till autumn 2021, and the the renewed substation will be completely ready for synchronisation with the networks of continental Europe.
 
A new 330 kV electricity transmission line will be built from the Elektrėnai Power Plant to Vilnius. In Vilnius, due to the concentration of industrial and service centres, electricity consumption has increased, and now accounts for one-third of the capacity demand in Lithuania. Currently, the city is supplied through high voltage electricity lines coming from the Elektrėnai Power Plant and Belarus. After the implementation of the synchronisation project, the Belarus line will be disconnected. Aiming to ensure safe electricity transmission to Vilnius and in preparation for synchronisation with the networks of Western Europe, reinforcement of the Vilnius transformer substation and the construction of a new electricity transmission line have been planned.
 
According to D. Virbickas, if there is a positive decision towards the construction of a new nuclear power plant in Lithuania, the new 330 kV power line from the Kruonis Pump Storage Plant to Visaginas will become a technical precondition for the connection of the nuclear power plant to the network.
 
“The construction and financing of the new power lines requires early planning, so this project has remained among Litgrid’s strategic plans for several years. However, the decision about this investment will only be made after the construction of a new nuclear power station, while currently, the financial means for this project have not been allocated,” said D. Virbickas.
 
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