Baltic TSOs agree on 2025 for disconnection from Russian grid system

Baltic TSOs agree on 2025 for disconnection from Russian grid system
Riga, Latvia. Image courtesy 123rf

The Baltic Transmission System Operators (TSOs) – Estonia’s Elering, Latvia’s AST and Lithuania’s Litgrid – have signed an agreement to officially disconnect from the Russian-controlled electricity system and synchronise with Europe’s continental grid by February 2025.

The agreement stipulates that the Baltic countries will jointly withdraw from a contract, whereby they were synchronised with the Russian and Belarus operator-controlled energy system (BRELL).

The contract is slated to conclude in the summer of 2024, half a year before synchronisation with the European grid.

Necessary works, such as the installation of the first synchronous condensers, control systems and the reconstruction of the third line between Estonia and Latvia, will be completed by the agreed date.

Other projects implemented by Baltic TSOs related to synchronisation will be implemented until the end of 2025 or later.

Stated Rokas Masiulis, CEO of Litgrid: “Together with our partners, we have agreed on specific actions and dates for disconnecting from the Russian system and joining the Continental European Synchronous Zone.

“For the first time, the operators of the three countries jointly assumed clear obligations to perform synchronisation at the agreed time – February 2025.”

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The declaration and agreement from the Baltic operators follow a study they conducted earlier this year alongside the Gdansk branch of the Polish Energy Institute into the possibility of synchronisation earlier than the set deadline of the end of 2025.

The study results show that at the beginning of 2025, the electricity transmission systems of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia will be ready to safely disconnect from Russia’s system and synchronise with continental Europe.

The announcement marks culmination of 18 years’ worth of interconnector projects between the Batlic states and the continental grid.

In 2007, Estlink 1 (350MW DC) came online between Estonia and Finland; its second iteration, Estlink 2 (650MW DC), was announced in 2014. In Lithuania, 2015 saw interconnection with Sweden through NordBolt (700MW DC) and Poland through the LitPol Link (600MW DC).

2025 is also expected to see the Harmony Link (700MW DC) come online between Poland and Latvia.

The TSOs agreement awaits endorsement by the prime ministers of the three Baltic countries.

Batlic TSOs to connect to European grid
Baltic interconnections since 2007. Image courtesy AST.

Commenting on the announcement in a press release was AST board member Gatis Junghāns, who called the agreement an “important step for common progress towards our strategic goal – to become part of the unified European system.

“While working on the accelerated synchronisation implementation plan, both the technical readiness of the operators of the Baltic system and successful cooperation with European partners will be essential.

“Also, the work on further strengthening of the infrastructure will continue even after the accelerated synchronisation and related cost optimisation.”