Baltics to request €430m in EU funding for power grid synchronization

The power transmission operators from the Baltic states are due on October 10 to submit an official application to the European Commission for the funding of the first stage of the synchronization of the Baltic states' power systems with that of continental Europe.

The project's total value stands at €1.5 billion. The Baltic states will ask €432.5 million for the first stage and hope the EU will finance 75% of the total project.

Lithuania's Litgrid, Latvia's AST and Estonia's Elering have to submit the joint application for €432 million in funding under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) for the first stage of the project by Oct. 11.

According to Lithuanian Energy Minister Zygimantas Vaiciunas, this is the first application for the project's funding. The first stage will involve bolstering internal networks, and the second stage will involve the submarine cable. Other technical solutions will follow.

The total synchronization project might cost up to €1.5 billion, Vaiciunas said. He also did not discount the possibility that part of the needed funding might remain for the EU's 2020-2027 budget.

On Sep. 6, the Lithuania, Latvian and Estonian regulatory authorities agreed that the total investment into the project's first stage will stand at €432.55 million, including €167.045 million for Lithuania, around €77 million euros for Latvia and around €187 million for Estonia. Litgrid, AST and Elering will cover the investment upon receipt of EU support.

Based on the agreed scenario, the existing interconnection between Lithuania and Poland, a new submarine cable, and synchronous compensations installed at hydropower plants in the Baltic states will be used for the synchronization of the Baltic power grids with continental Europe.

The Baltic states, Poland and the European Commission signed the political agreement on the synchronization project in late June, and the project is scheduled to be finished by 2025.

The Baltic grids are still part of the post-Soviet BRELL ring, which also includes Russia and Belarus, and remain dependent on the control center in Moscow and the Russian electricity system.

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