Lithuania has launched Europe’s largest 200 megawatts (MW) power battery backup system in Vilnius. It is one of the most important projects in terms of a national security.
The system consists of four 50 megawatts (MW) battery parks installed in electrical transformer substations in Vilnius, Šiauliai, Alytus and Utena districts. They can provide energy continuously for about one hour or until other power generation sources, such as the Kruonis HAE, start up.
“Attacks against European energy infrastructure projects in recent years show that the threats are real, so ensuring energy security is an absolute necessity. Until synchronization, in the event of any disturbances, the system will ensure uninterrupted electricity supply”, says Minister of Energy Dainius Kreivys.
According to him, the project marks a new qualitative level of network resilience and will help Lithuania to implement one of the most important tasks before synchronization – the ability to work in an isolated mode, i.e. independently.
As Lithuania plans to join the continental European networks (CEN) system in 2025 and disconnect from the BRELL (Belarus, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania) energy ring, it is important to ensure the ability to operate in isolated mode. The energy storage facilities system will provide instantaneous isolated operation electricity reserve and will provide isolated operation reserve service until the synchronisation with the CEN in 2025. If needed, high-capacity reserve storage facilities will start supplying power immediately, within 1 second. This will ensure a reliable supply of active power to the grid until other sources of electricity generation are commissioned. Lithuanian power plants currently operating in the IPS/UPS system can start supplying power within 15 minutes. Once synchronised with the CEN system, the energy storage facilities will be able to store electricity generated by solar or wind power plants and feed it into the grid when needed. Lithuania aims to generate 70% of its electricity consumption by 2030, almost half of it from renewable sources.
The new energy storage facilities will use climate-neutral technologies, which will contribute to the country’s climate change mitigation objectives by reducing the need for the services of generators using conventional energy sources to operate the transmission system. System control center engineers are on call 24/7 to ensure uninterrupted service.
“We have one of the most flexible and fastest frequency control tools in the energy industry – an integrated energy storage system and transmission network. If the need arose to operate in isolated or otherwise island mode, we could maintain the frequency independently. The project, counting from the day of the announcement of the international procurement, was implemented in 34 months. Such an implementation schedule is a record, considering that this type of project is the first in the Baltic States, one of the first and largest in Europe and will certainly be among the leaders of storage systems for at least a few more years. I thank the “Energy cells” team and contractors, who worked extremely intensively to strengthen the security of the country’s energy system”, – said the head of the energy storage system operator “Energy cells” Rimvydas Štilinis.
The lithium-ion battery parks which are installed by a consortium of US Fluence and German Siemens Energy will operate as a joint system – making it one of the first and largest sites in Europe.
The EU’s NextGenerationEU Recovery and Resilience Facility, under the ‘New-Generation Lithuania’ plan allocated 87.6 million euros for the installation of the battery energy storage system. The total value of the project was 109 million euros.
The operator of the battery system is Energy Cells, which is 100 per cent owned by the EPSO-G group of energy transmission and exchange companies. The rights and obligations of EPSO-G are implemented by the Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Lithuania, the sole shareholder of EPSO-G.
Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Lithuania https://enmin.lrv.lt/lt/naujienos/oficialiai-pradeda-veikti-didziausia-europoje-200-mw-bateriju-sistema
Image: Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Lithuania