Poland and Lithuania have joined forces to combine the electricity grids of the Baltic States (Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia) and the Western Europe under a strategic EU power grid project, the LitPol Link power transmission interconnection.
It is implemented by Lithuanian and Polish power network operators: Litgrid AB and Polskie Sieci Elektroenergetyczne S.A. (PSE S.A). The project implementation is coordinated by “LitPol Link” Sp. z o.o, a Lithuanian-Polish company. The first project milestone, rated for 500 MW transmission power, is scheduled to be completed towards the end of 2015.
400 kV line length163 km
Transmission power500 MW
Planned completionyear 2015
- Transmission capacity between Lithuania and Poland is rated for 500 MW.
- An overhead double-circuit 400 kV transmission line between Ełk in Poland and Alytus in Lithuania is being erected. The total length of the overhead power transmission line is 163 km, 51 km in Lithuania, across the regions of Alytus and Lazdijai, and 112 km in Poland, across Podlaskie and Warmińsko-Mazurskie provinces.
- New power substations are built in Poland (Ełk Bis) and Lithuania (Alytus).
- A 330 kV switch yard is retrofitted and expanded next to the existing power substation in Alytus, Lithuania.
- 500 WM HVDC “back-to-back“ converter station is constructed next to the existing Alytus substation, one of the most important and most technologically complex elements of the LitPol Link interconnection. The BtB converter station will combine two electricity grids: Polish and Lithuanian, each with different operating characteristics.
- Estimated service life: 50 years.
- Commissioning date - towards the end of 2015.
This project has high priority for European Union, as it will allow to eliminate electricity islands on the EU territory, thereby contributing to the Internal Energy Market (IEM) completion process. Artūras Vilimas, CEO of “LitPol Link”
Currently in both countries the construction works are progressing according to schedule. The investment process has been streamlined by seamless exchange of information and efficient coordination of all implementation works between two transmission system operators and the project stakeholders. The “electric energy bridge” will translate into significant improvement of energy security in Lithuania and the north-east region of Poland. The energy infrastructure is planned to be made available to participants in the electricity market from the early 2016.
A 112 km long overhead double-circuit 400 kV transmission line will be erected in Poland (from Ełk to the Polish-Lithuanian state border). A similar 51 km long power line extending from Alytus substation in Lithuania to the Lithuanian-Polish state border will be built in Lithuania. The converter station with a 400 kV switch yard in Alytus in Lithuania will combine two large, independently operated electricity systems. The Polish electric transmission system now works synchronously with Continental European Network, while the Lithuanian transmission system operates synchronously with the IPS/UPS system. The new 500 MW HVDC BtB converter station with new 400 kV substation will combine both power transmission systems. The existing 330 / 110 kV substation in Alytus (Lithuania) and the 400 / 110 kV substation in Ełk (Ełk Bis, Poland) will be retrofitted to support power distribution in the new system.
If all goes according to the plan, Poland and Lithuania will be integrated with the power grids of Latvia, Estonia, Sweden, Denmark and Germany towards the end of 2015. This project is a part of the so-called “Baltic Ring”. It will streamline integration and collaboration and will open up new energy trading options. Artūras Vilimas, CEO of “LitPol Link”
Within the framework of the Poland - Lithuania power interconnection, there are as many as eleven investments taking place in Poland. Overhead power transmission lines are currently constructed or upgraded, along with substations in Mazowieckie, Podlaskie and Warmińsko-Mazurskie provinces, including four transmission lines, around 400 km long, and seven electrical substations. There are 297 and 150 towers erected in Poland and Lithuania, respectively, supporting high-voltage 400 kV power lines between Ełk Bis – Alytus substations.
In September and October 2015, Alytus power facilities will be tested, i.e. both systems will be physically interconnected to have their power transmission capacity checked. In November and December 2015, load testing is scheduled to take place, which makes the beginning of the commissioning stage.
“LitPol Link”, a company established in 2008, is in charge of the preparatory works for the interconnection between the power transmission systems of Lithuania and Poland. The company shares are equally split between two national transmission system operators: fifty per cent of “LitPol Link” shares belong to Litgrid AB, and the remaining fifty per cent of shares are owned by Polskie Sieci Elektroenergetyczne S.A. (PSE S.A.).
“LitPol Link” company coordinates international preparatory and construction works, supports cooperation between Lithuanian and Polish transmission system operators, and orchestrates the work of subcontractors. The company supervises the 400 kV overhead double-circuit transmission line between Ełk and Alytus, the 400 kV switch yard and 500 MW back-to-back converter station in Alytus, and the retrofitted substations in Ełk (400/110 kV) and Alytus (330/110 kV). Another mission of “LitPol Link” is to carry out promotional activities, including CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) projects. “LitPol Link” executives have been pursuing a transparent information policy in collaboration with the project shareholders and individual contractors, holding meetings with decision-makers and journalists, delivering presentations, and attending press conferences at construction sites in Poland and Lithuania. These activities are aimed to maintain seamless exchange of project information for all stakeholders.