The political roadmap implementing the synchronisation of the Baltic States' electricity networks with the Continental European Network via Poland, was signed on 20th of June by President of Lithuania, Prime Minister of Estonia, Poland and Latvia and the President of the European Commission.
The synchronisation of the Baltic States with the Central European grid is a cornerstone and one of the most emblematic projects of the Energy Union, a concrete expression of European solidarity in energy security. The Roadmap sets the target date of 2025 for the full synchronisation.
The parties agreed to implement the infrastructure and operational measures in the Baltic States and Poland by ensuring the timely completion of the following intermediate milestones:
- Ensuring an adequate amount of system services (inertia) in the Baltics, including via an adequate number of synchronous condensers by 2021;
- Commissioning of 400/330 kV autotransformers in Alytus by 2021;
- Completion of the investment request and submission of a financing proposal for the Connecting Europe Facility call in 2020 for the high-voltage submarine Harmony Link cable and related internal grid reinforcements in Poland and Lithuania,
- Launch of tendering and start of construction of the Harmony Link in 2021 and 2023 respectively;
- Elaboration of principles of operation of the high-voltage submarine cables between the Nordic and Baltic regions;
- Implementation of a number of measures under the Connection Agreement ensuring frequency stability in Baltic States.
The Baltic States’ system operators – with assistance of the European Commission and ENTSO-E – will aim at finalising the technical de-synchronisation agreement with Russian and Belorussian system operators, and identifying required measures, if any, to ensure the continued security of the Kaliningrad region electricity system and necessary system services, in a scenario of no cross-border transmission capacity available for trade flows after the de-synchronisation process, as already officially communicated by the Baltic TSOs to the Russian and Belorussian system operators in March 2019.
The European Commission and the Baltic States will continue necessary procedures in order to finalise the discussion with the Russian and Belarussian sides, so that the de-synchronisation process from the Russian, including Kaliningrad region, and Belarussian systems can be managed without additional risks for the security of their systems, as already agreed in the Political Roadmap of 28 June 2018.
Whilst formerly an "energy island", the Baltic States region is now connected with European partners through recently established electricity lines with Poland (LitPol Link), Sweden (NordBalt) and Finland (Estlink 1 and Estlink 2). These projects were made possible and built with EU support. For historical reasons, however, the Baltic States' electricity grid is still operated in a synchronous mode with the Russian and Belarusian systems.
The desynchronisation of the Baltic States' electricity grid from these systems and the synchronisation with the continental European network (CEN) is an essential political priority for the achievement of the Energy Union. The relevant grid reinforcements have been included in the third EU list of Projects of Common Interest (PCIs) adopted by the Commission on 23 November 2017. On 19 March 2019, the Connecting Europe Facility grant agreement was signed for the €323 million financing for the first phase of the synchronisation process, covering 75% of the investment needs for this phase. In May 2019, the formal extension of the continental European grid to the Baltic States' was approved within the ENTSO-E in a process initiated by Poland. Source: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-19-3337_en.htm