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Litgrid’s northwestern electricity network expansion plan granted special national project status

Lithuanian electricity transmission system operator Litgrid’s planned expansion of the electricity transmission network in Northwestern Lithuania has been granted the status of special national project importance by the Parliament of Lithuania.

The development of new network facilities will raise energy security, guarantee reliable electric power transmission, ensure stable system operations and support the rapid development of renewable energy sources.

The electricity transmission grid development projects in Northwestern Lithuania include the construction of two 330 kilovolt (kV) transmission lines (Darbenai-Varduva-Musa and Panevezys-Musa), building the 330 kV Varduva transformer substation and the installation of shunt reactors at the Darbenai and Musa switchyard stations.

“The new 330 kV transmission lines from Darbenai to Panevezys are important for the development of renewable energy,” said Litgrid CEO Rokas Masiulis. “[They will provide] an additional electricity highway between Western Lithuania, where renewable energy is rapidly developing and offshore wind farms are planned, and Eastern Lithuania, where electricity consumption is growing [at the highest rate].”

“With the rapid development of renewable energy sources, solar and wind farm electric power production is constantly increasing on the grid. Changes in renewable energy production lead to a redistribution of electricity flows with more wind generation being connected to the grid in Western Lithuania and more solar power in Eastern Lithuania,” added Mr Masiulis, a former Minister of Transport and Communication (2016-2019) and Minister of Energy (2014-2016). “As renewable integration in Northwest Lithuania continues to grow, it is essential to ensure the reliability of electricity transmission in the 330 kV grid.”

An important Lithuanian energy hub, the 330 kV Darbenai switchyard will distribute future offshore wind farm electricity across the country along the transmission lines of Western Lithuania. The new Northwestern transmission lines from Darbenai to Panevezys will increase grid reliability and facilitate the integration of a new Latvian interconnector.

The construction of the new infrastructure will help maintain the reliable operation of the Lithuanian energy system even during the synchronisation with the continental European power grids and will support the development of local electric power generation from renewable energy sources.

The full length of the newly constructed Northwestern Lithuanian electricity transmission lines (Darbenai-Varduva-Musa and Panevezys-Musa) is estimated to be around 240 kilometres long and is expected to be complete by 2034.

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