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Slovakia and Hungary have been linked by new significant cross-border 400 kV electricity lines

The electricity trading on the new Hungarian-Slovak cross-border transmission lines was successfully launched. The Hungarian Energy and Public Utility Regulatory Authority (MEKH) gave permission to start the commercial operation of the Gönyű-Bős-Nagygyőröd and Sajóivánka-Rimaszombat cross-border transmission lines after the successful trial operation.

The cross-border capacities built between Gönyű-Nagygyőröd and Gönyű-Bős, as well as Sajóivánka and Rimaszombat, are the longest and busiest cross-border sections in the north-south electricity flow direction, with a 400 kilovolt (kV) connection, each.

The projects will increase energy security in Central Europe, transmission system stability and will improve the conditions for electricity exchange on the international market electricity.

“Our new Slovak-Hungarian interconnectors – starting from Gönyű in western Hungary and from Sajóivánka on the Eastern border – are important not only for the balance of the Hungarian electricity system,” commented András Biczók, CEO of Hungary’s Transmission System Operator (TSO), MAVIR. “Expanding international connections ensure the balance of the single European electricity system in the busiest North to South route of electricity flows, while, on the other hand, provide our long-term security of supply in the North-Eastern region of Hungary. Cooperation will gain an even larger role in the coming decades, not only within national borders but between national transmission system operators and national systems as well. The successful project closure after 20 years of planning aims at a more livable (environmentally, economically and socially sustainable) future.”

Photo: courtesy of MAVIR.

“The transmission capacity of new 400 kV lines, in total length of 46 kilometres on the territory of Slovakia, will significantly help to relieve the overloaded cross-border profile of transmission systems of Slovakia and Hungary,” added Peter Dovhun, CEO of Slovakia’s TSO SEPS. “Moreover, due to these recently commissioned transmission systems, it will be possible to connect new renewable energy sources to the electricity system and to increase the safety of the output export from the Mochovce nuclear power plant.”

Both bilateral projects of cross-border interconnections were included in the list of Projects of Common Interest (PCI) by the European Commission and they were co-financed from the Connecting Europe Facility European instrument. The 1,750 metres section between Gönyű and the border costs 4.2 billion Hungarian Forints, while the 23.2 kilometres section between Sajóivánka and the national border costs 8.8 billion Hungarian Forints.

“The new transmission lines will improve Hungary’s security of supply, reduce the structural bottleneck in the Hungarian-Slovak relationship and facilitate the north-south flow of electricity produced by renewable energy sources in the Central and Eastern European region,” emphasised János Péter Horváth, President of MEKH.

He also highlighted that the extension of the Hungarian-Slovak connection is a significant step in ensuring energy supply for both countries and has an important role in the development of an integrated European electricity market.

“The new connection will double the electricity transmission capacity between the two countries,” he added, pointing out that about 30 per cent of Hungary’s electricity demand is covered by imports and a significant amount is coming from Slovakia. “In case of commercial operation, the scarcity of cross-border capacities may increase the price of electricity; that is why the new Slovak-Hungarian cross-border transmission lines are particularly important.”

Indeed Mr Horváth recalled that in January 2017, the limited cross-border capacities contributed to the extraordinary situation when the prices on the Hungarian electricity market were several times higher than the usual domestic and even Western European electricity prices. By doubling the Hungarian-Slovak cross-border capacities, the occurrence of similar risky situations can be reduced.

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