Today, INEA (the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency) has signed a €720 million grant agreement with the electricity transmission system operators of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland for the Baltic Synchronisation Project. This represents the largest amount of funding ever attributed from the Connecting Europe Facility Energy (CEF-E). The project aims to better integrate electricity grids of the Baltic States with the ones of the rest of continental Europe and ensure their energy independence from third countries.
Kadri Simson, Commissioner for Energy, said:
Today’s agreement marks a decisive step in the Baltic Synchronisation process, a project of strategic European interest that needs to be completed by the end of 2025. This will ensure not only the full integration of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania into the internal energy market, but also facilitate the take-up of renewable energy in the Baltic States and Poland, helping them achieve the European Green Deal objectives.
Following previous funding awarded in 2019 for the reinforcement of the internal grids of the Baltic States, the grant signed today will be mainly dedicated for the construction of Harmony Link – an electricity cable connecting Poland and Lithuania through the Baltic Sea. The cable will become a building block for allowing the integration of offshore renewable energy resources. This funding will also cover synchronous condensers in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and reinforcements of the Polish grid that will ensure the full functionality of the Harmony Link and safe operation of the system.
Synchronisation is a symbol of European solidarity in energy. With continuous support from the European Commission over the years, the leaders of the Baltic States and Poland reached a landmark agreement on 28 June 2018 and signed a Political Roadmap for accomplishing the synchronisation by the target date of 2025. The Political Implementation Roadmap was subsequently signed in June 2019.
Whilst formerly an "energy island", the Baltic States region is now connected with European partners through recently established electricity lines with Poland (LitPol Link), Sweden (NordBalt) and Finland (Estlink 1 and Estlink 2). These projects were made possible and built with EU support. For historical reasons, however, the Baltic States' electricity grid is still operated in a synchronous mode with the Russian and Belarusian systems.
The synchronisation of the Baltic States' electricity grid with the continental European network (CEN) is an essential political priority for the achievement of the Energy Union. The relevant grid reinforcements have been included in the fourth EU list of Projects of Common Interest (PCIs). PCIs are intended to help the EU achieve its energy policy and climate objectives: affordable, secure and sustainable energy for all citizens. Projects on the PCI list are also eligible to receive Connecting Europe Facility-Energy funding.
14 December 2020