11.12.2013. The feasibility study on the interconnection variants for the integration of the Baltic States to the EU internal electricity market has been accomplished. The study has been ordered by Litgrid, Augstsprieguma tikls and Elering – electricity transmission system operators of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia in cooperation with a Swedish consulting company Gothia Power.
The feasibility study launched in May 2012 and finished in October 2013, analysing possible scenarios for connecting the electricity systems of the Baltic States with the European Continental Network for synchronous operation. The study analysed technical, legal and socio-economic aspects of the interconnection of the power systems.
The performed study allows establishing technical requirements for the development of the Europe’s synchronous area and connection of the power systems. Possible costs of the synchronisation project implementation in order to connect power systems of the Baltic States with European Continental Network for synchronous operation have been calculated. Connecting the electricity systems of the Baltic States with the European Continental Network for synchronous operation is challenging but possible project from a technical point of view, i.e. with respect to power flow, control and stability. However, reinforcements are needed in the present power system of the Baltic States, in Poland, and in Kaliningrad (when synchronous with Continental Europe), control and reserves have to be upgraded and a number of back-to-back converters towards Russia and Belarus have to be installed. Special attention has to be paid to the design parameters for the planned Visaginas power plant in Lithuania, since it would be the limit setting unit in many operational situations, especially in island operation. The large size of the planned Visaginas unit also requires quite large reserves.
No major legal or regulatory obstacle against a synchronisation has been identified, but a number of issues have to be negotiated, resolved and agreed on.
The investment costs and annual costs for a change of synchronous operation are high, compared to the market benefits.
Although, no traditional technical or economic argument has been identified that can justify a change of synchronisation from the present United Power system to the Continental Europe system, there might very well be other driving forces, e.g. strategic or political.