Regulator approves the 10-year development plan of AST
According to the ten-year development plan for the Latvian electric power system approved by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), within the period between 2021 and 2030 the Latvian electric power transmission system operator AS Augstsprieguma tīkls (hereinafter – AST) plans to invest 405 million euros in its own development. The most significant costs are related to the increase of the transmission network capacity and the increase of the security of the electricity supply in the Baltic region, with the aim of achieving the synchronisation of the Baltic electricity system with continental Europe’s in 2025.
“The transmission network development plan is one of the most important planning documents for AST, where we clearly define the investments to be made in the development of the network in the coming years. The approved plan is closely related to the 10-year development plan of the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) in order to achieve one of Europe's strategic goals in ensuring energy independence - synchronisation of the Baltic electricity networks with Europe,” says Varis Boks, Chairman of the Board of AST.
“We positively assess the initiative of the transmission operator to promote the security of electricity supply in the Baltics region. When evaluating the projects envisaged in the development plan, the PUC also assessed the potential impact on the amount of the transmission system service tariff. We have determined that as a result of reconstruction projects, the impact on the tariff shall not exceed 3%. Considering the fact that the transmission tariff forms a small part, approximately 25% of the system service costs, covered by users, the impact on bills of end-users will be rather small,” says Līga Kurevska, Director of the Energy Department of PUC.
Phase 1 of the synchronisation project includes the increase of capacity and reconstruction of two existing electric power transmission lines from Valmiera to Tartu and to Tsirgulina in Estonia, as well as the purchase and installation of system synchronisation and inertia equipment. The total cost is EUR 76 million, of which 75% is co-financed by the European Union (EU) from the Connecting Europe Facility. In turn, in the second phase of the project, it is planned to install two more synchronous compensators, and these projects have also received 75% co-financing from Europe.
Furthermore, to prevent the Latvian power transmission network and substations from becoming obsolete and thus to ensure reliable operation of the transmission system and the uninterrupted supply of consumers with the amounts of electric power they need, AST plans to rebuild 330 kV and 110 kV substations and distribution stations, 330 kV and 110 kV transmission lines, to replace 330 kV automatic transformers and 110 kV transformers, and to carry out other projects intended to maintain the operational capacity of the transmission system. In total, EUR 228 million is planned to be invested in these projects by 2030. The investments are planned such that the number of devices that reach or approach critical age is reduced as much as possible in the long run.
In accordance with the Electricity Market Law, PUC determines the information to be included in the 10-year development plan of the transmission system, sets up the procedure for submitting it, approves it, and monitors its implementation. PUC has been assessing and approving the development plan of the transmission system since 2012, annually reassessing the development plan prepared for the subsequent 10 years by AST.
The approved 10-year development plan is available on the website of AST in the Electricity Transmission System Development Plan section.