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Litgrid: everyone wins if more consumers use the grid

Litgrid: everyone wins if more consumers use the grid

The Lithuanian electricity transmission grid is designed to service significantly more energy-intensive consumers. Today, domestic industrial consumers use up only two thirds of what they used to just a quarter of a century ago, stressed Karolis Sankovski, Director at the TSO Litgrid’s Strategic Infrastructure Department, speaking at the Lithuanian Energy Conference. 
According to Mr Sankovski, a more intensive use of the transmission network would only benefit Lithuanian electricity consumers as infrastructure costs are divided among all consumers. More consumers would mean proportionately lower electricity tariff.
The reduction of the largest portion of the electricity tariff, i.e. electricity purchase price on the electricity market, was possible thanks to two new interconnections NordBalt and LitPol Link, which linked Lithuania to Western Europe and the Nordic region. Over the nine months of 2016, the average price for electricity on Nord Pool in the Lithuanian bidding area was 36 EUR/MWh and was the lowest in the trading history of the power market in Lithuania. Other components of the electricity tariff could be reduced through a more efficient use of the infrastructure. 
“One large data centre or a high-capacity paper mill, with consumption needs driving the demand for power up to 100 MW would lower, by as much as 9%, not just the transmission tariff but infrastructure costs in general, PSO and other components to the electricity tariff dependent on the volume of electricity consumption. Our experts calculate that benefit to all consumers would amount to €46m annually. These figures encourage us to do everything in our power to make sure that new large-scale electricity consumers emerge in Lithuania,” said Mr Sankovski at the same conference. 
Electricity demand forecasts, improving overall economic indicators and the development of new technologies imply that power consumption will continue to grow and the expected more efficient use of energy resources both by businesses and households will not compensate for this growing demand for electricity. In the first six months of 2016 electricity consumption was up by 5.3% compared to the same period last year. The biggest jump in consumption – 4.7% – was observed in the industry and services sectors. 
“Network load figures show how and where consumption intensity changes, and what areas should be strengthened. Over the next couple of years, network development projects will be first and foremost driven by new consumers, further development of the Rail Baltika railway and the growing needs of Vilnius and Kaunas region,” continued Mr Sankovski. 
This fall Litgrid is launching the construction of two new power transmission lines, a 110 kV overhead power line extending from Kretinga to Benaičiai and a 330 kV overhead power line to connect Alytus and Kruonis Pumped-storage Hydroelectric Power Plant. The reconstruction of an overhead power line from the Power Plant Lithuania (Lietuvos elektrinė) to Vilnius is also on the way, in an attempt to strengthen Vilnius power node. Some time later the construction of a new 330 kV line from Vilnius to Nemenčinė will be commenced.
It is expected that investments into the transmission system over the next five years will amount to €40m annually. In the period between 2016 and 2025, the TSO plans to invest a total of around €671m into projects designed to ensure system security and reliability, as well as development projects essential to synchronisation. 
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