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Lithuania: testing for new battery storage system begins

Testing of the new battery park system with a combined capacity of 200 megawatts (MW) and 200 megawatt-hours (MWh) has begun, said Lithuania’s Energy Minister, Dainius Kreivys, last week.

After the tests are complete, the battery park system will be fully integrated into the country’s electricity transmission network, increasing the stability and reliability of the Lithuanian electric power system. This will be Lithuania’s first battery park system and one of the biggest in Europe.

“Not only will the batteries increase the reliability of the system – but they will also enable us to disconnect from the BRELL ring and synchronise with the continental European network ahead of schedule, in 2024,” said Minister Kreivys.

The system of battery storage facilities, designed to ensure the instantaneous energy reserve for Lithuania, will comprise four battery farms in Vilnius, Šiauliai, Alytus and Utena with 312 battery cubes – 78 in each farm. The total combined capacity of the energy storage system is to be integrated into the Lithuanian grid by Energy Cells. Along with specially made transformers and other equipment, all 312 battery cells have already been installed and connected in the battery parks at the transformer substations.

If an accident occurs in the power system, this battery system will be able to start supplying energy and resume energy supply throughout Lithuania in a matter of seconds – this is its key function until synchronisation with the continental European network (CEN). In the event of disruptions in the power grid, energy from the battery parks can be automatically transferred to the grid within one second and supplied until the secondary reserve – the Kruonis hydroelectric power plant – is connected. 

After synchronisation and final connection to the CEN, this system will contribute to the rapid integration of growing renewable energy sources by storing solar and wind power and returning it to the grid when needed.

“We will already be ready to provide the instantaneous reserve service at the end of this year. We will be ready, which means that if there is a need, we will be able to supply electricity to the grid until other sources of electricity supply are connected”, said Rimvydas Štilinis, CEO of Energy Cells, which is the company implementing the project.

The lithium-ion battery parks which are installed by a consortium of US Fluence and German Siemens Energy will operate as a joint system – making it one of the first and largest sites in Europe. 

The EU’s NextGenerationEU Recovery and Resilience Facility, under the ‘New-Generation Lithuania’ plan allocated 87.6 million euros for the installation of the battery energy storage system. The total value of the project, which is meant to provide Lithuania with an instantaneous electricity reserve and the ability to work independently in isolated mode, will reach 109 million euros.

The operator of the battery system is Energy Cells, which is 100 per cent owned by the EPSO-G group of energy transmission and exchange companies. The rights and obligations of EPSO-G are implemented by the Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Lithuania, the sole shareholder of EPSO-G.

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