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Baltic power systems preparing for isolated operation test

Baltic power systems preparing for isolated operation test

The power systems of the three Baltic countries are preparing for the significant step towards synchronisation. For a short period of time they will be disconnected from the energy systems of neighbouring countries and will become an independent energy system for the time of the test. A study on preparation for isolated operation test started in January.
“The test of isolated operation will bring us closer to the state we are to experience when desynchronising from IPS/UPS system and preparing for synchronisation with Continental European Networks. We are part of the large power system IPS/UPS and we are to a great extent dependent on other participants of this system – Russia and Belarus. It should be noted that the frequency control of this system is maintained centrally from Moscow. During the test we will test our ability to maintain frequency and control the power system independently. The test will show our technical abilities to maintain a power system which is isolated from neighbouring countries and, most importantly, to identify the areas for improvement,” said Daivis Virbickas, CEO of the Lithuanian electricity transmission system operator Litgrid.
The test of isolated operation is one of the main steps in preparation for synchronisation. When the test is carried out the Baltic countries will restrict their connections with neighbouring countries – Russia and Belarus. To meet power demand, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia will use only domestic power generation sources and HVDC power interconnections with Nordic countries. The three Baltic countries will independently maintain the balance and frequency of power.
The study on preparation for testing was initiated by the international consulting company Tractebel Engineering in January. The study will include a model of disconnecting Baltic power systems from the ones of neighbouring countries, with the most suitable time set for the test. Various situations in the energy system will be modelled and analysed to determine what technologies should be implemented by the operators of Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian power systems. Afterwards, the conditions of the test will be coordinated with the participants of the power market, the transmission system operators of other countries and power producers, which could be affected by the test.
“Although the test will last for a short period of time, it necessitates careful and long preparation. The participants of the power system are closely interrelated, so any action on our part must be meticulously coordinated, taking into account various economic, technological and legal factors,”  pointed out Virbickas.
The study on preparation for testing is co-financed by the European Union's Connecting Europe Facility (CEF).
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