The Lithuanian government approved the establishment of a commission that will coordinate the implementation of the project of Synchronisation of the Electric Power System with the Continental European Network, one of the priority energy project of the European Commission.
“The implementation of this project covers many complex areas, from land issues to complex technical solutions, to political agreements with other countries,” commented the Minister of Energy, Žygimantas Vaičiūnas. “The new commission will strengthen the supervision of the project and allow it to move faster with the necessary decisions.”
In August 2019, the Government compiled a list of 14 synchronisation projects that were granted special national interest status. In September, it approved a plan of actions and measures for synchronisation of the Lithuanian electric power system by 2025. Early in January, Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis described the synchronisation of the Baltic electricity networks as a strategic energy security project.
Work has already started on all infrastructure projects: in some cases, the preparatory and planning phases have begun, while in others, the construction phase has already reached the halfway point. One project has already been fully implemented: the expansion of the 330 kilovolts (kV) transformer substation in Bitėnai. Furthermore, territorial planning has already begun in the country for the construction of the largest synchronisation project, the Harmony Link interconnection.
In 2019, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia secured the maximum possible European Union funding (75 per cent) for the first phase of synchronisation. At present, the Baltic States and Poland are working together intensively to prepare applications for the second phase of funding.
The Baltic transmission systems have historically been developed and are still operating as an integral part of the IPS/UPS system, which is controlled centrally from Russia. After the accession of the Baltic States to the EU, real opportunities emerged to integrate the Baltic electric power infrastructure, electricity market and management into the Western European power systems. The synchronisation of the electric power system with the synchronous grid of Continental Europe is a strategic energy project that will make it possible to desynchronise from the IPS/UPS system and ultimately ensure independent management of the electric power system in accordance with European system management standards.