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Baltic states to test disconnection from Soviet-era energy system

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Staff Writer |
Baltic power
Energy   Electricity trade with third countries has been decreasing

Taking the next step towards the planned synchronization with European power grids, the Baltic states will try unplugging from the Soviet-era energy system in 2019, Aija Ikstena, a spokeswoman for Latvia's Augstsprieguma Tikls transmission operator, told reporters.

"Electricity trade with third countries - Russia and Belarus - has been decreasing each year. The Baltics have to be synchronic with its main trading area.

"At present, trade is taking place mainly with Scandinavian countries and Poland, while trade with Russia and Belarus is steadily declining, dropping even slightly below 10 percent in the past year. The test of isolated operation is the next big step towards achieving that goal by 2025," said Augstsprieguma Tikls CEO Varis Boks.

During the desynchronization test, the Baltic power grids will be disconnected from the Russian and Belarusian energy system.

The Baltic countries will then have to generate enough electricity at their own facilities while receiving some electricity from DC connections with Sweden, Finland and Poland.

The Baltic transmission system operators - Latvia's Augstsprieguma Tikls, Lithuania's Litgrid and Estonia's Elering - have yet to agree on the best scenario and date for the desynchronization test.

After that, the plan has to be agreed on by other parties who might be affected by the test, including electricity market participants, transmission operators of other countries, and electricity producers.

The year 2019 has been chosen for the test based on research and experts' advice to allocate ample time for preparations, which include work on the test scenario, examination of equipment, installation of measuring devices, and personnel training.

The European Union (EU) has set the Baltic power grids' integration with the EU energy system as a strategic priority of the bloc's energy policy.

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