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Upgrading Infrastructure in Northeast Lithuania for Synchronisation with the European Grid

Upgrading Infrastructure in Northeast Lithuania for Synchronisation with the European Grid

Litgrid, the electricity transmission system operator, intends to upgrade two 330 kilovolt (kV) transformer substations in Ignalina and Utena by 2021. This project is part of the preparations aimed at reorientating the national grid for synchronous operation with the Continental European grid. 
‘This is one of the largest upgrading projects over the past ten years and is aimed at adjusting the current infrastructure to the synchronisation with the European grid. Upon consideration of viable options, we have concluded that it would be most beneficial, both to the customers and the power system, to transfer part of the equipment from the substation of the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant to the Utena substation. Besides providing opportunities for further development of the system in the region, this will secure the reliable operation of the grid after the change in the system‘s control conditions takes place‘, says Daivis Virbickas, the CEO of Litgrid. 
Northeast Lithuania has a very well developed transmission grid. A 330 kV Ignalina NPP transformer substation, situated at the Latvian and Byelorussian borders, has been the country‘s most important electricity transmission hub during the many years of operation of the nuclear power plant, accepting flows from Latvia, Byelorussia, Kruonis Hydro Pumped Storage Power Plant and the Ignalina NPP. According to Mr Virbickas, the main task of the upgrading works will be to separate three closely-integrated lines in the substation, two of which serve as the links with the neighbouring Latvian and Byelorussian grids. This will enable individual control of each link.  
The upgrading will involve the transfer of one of the largest transformers of the Ignalina NPP substation to the 330 kV Utena substation to increase the reliability of electricity transmission in the region. ‘
Storage facilities of the Ignalina nuclear power plant are the largest consumers of electricity in the Utena County, and reliability of transmission is critical for them. In addition, it is estimated that the demand for capacity will grow in the region: it will be nearly 40% higher in 2025’, says Litgrid’s CEO.
A public procurement procedure for the design and reconstruction works is planned to be launched in the middle of this year.
Preparatory works for the reconstruction of the Lithuanian Power Plant – Vilnius overhead electricity transmission line that have been started last year are part of the synchronisation project as well. 
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