Preparations for the second Link with Poland have started

September 16, 2016

The second power link with Poland that will complement the LitPol Link between Alytus and Ełk already in operation is one of the most important and complicated works in the preparations for the operation of the Baltic States’ power systems within synchronous grid of Continental Europe. Both Lithuania and Poland are considering the options of the new line’s route.

On the Lithuanian part, the options will be analysed by Sweco Lietuva, an engineering consultancy to whom the contract has been awarded in a tendering procedure organised by the Lithuanian transmission system operator Litgrid.

The new electricity transmission link with Poland is necessary in the preparation for the Baltic States’ power systems synchronisation with Western European grids. In order to ensure a reliable and smooth synchronous operation of the power system, Lithuania and Poland should be connected by at least two lines: the Litpol Link which is operative since the beginning of this year, and one more line. Selection of the route for the new line is a highly responsible task that cannot be done hastily. The line route options will be planned taking account of the populated areas, protected areas and other components of the environment in both Lithuania and Poland says Daivis Virbickas, CEO of Litgrid

At present, the double-circuit LitPol Link is the only power link connecting the Baltic States with Western European grids. First and foremost, the link serves as a guarantee of the power system‘s stability: for the Lithuanian and Polish transmission system operators, it secures the emergency reserve that allows avoiding interruptions in the power supply. The new line would enable a deeper integration with the grids of Continental Europe, which is one of the preconditions for synchronisation.

Sweco Lietuva’s specialists will have three months for the line route options analysis. It is projected that the power link could start at Marijampolė, where a new substation would be constructed, and extend to the Lithuanian-Polish border. The preparers of the study have been tasked to propose at least four route alternatives including the location of the new Marijampolė substation. The route must be planned at the longest possible distance from residential areas, cultural heritage sites, nature reserves and other protected areas.

The first results of the study should be available in December. An analogous study examining the line route options in Poland is being prepared by PSE Inwestycje, a subsidiary of the Polish transmission system operator.

In 2013, a Swedish consultancy Gothia Power was commissioned, by the transmission system operators of the three Baltic States, to prepare a feasibility study on the Baltic States’ integration into the European Union‘s internal market for electricity and the potential construction of power links. The feasibility study contains analyses of the options of synchronous connection with the grids of Continental Europe and identifies the second Lithuanian-Polish power link as one of the important preconditions for the synchronisation.