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Business development and innovations' projects

In order to maintain reliable local generation capabilities, Ignitis Gamyba is assessing possibilities to expand the capacity of the Kruonis Pumped Storage Hydroelectric Power Plant (PSHP) by constructing the fifth variable speed hydropower unit. Currently, four fixed speed hydropower units are installed in Kruonis PSHP but the initial PSHP's project provides the possibility to instal additional four units. Therefore, the current infrastructure of Kruonis PSHP is fully adapted to the new hydropower unit.

New 110 MW hydropower unit of Kruonis PSHP would be more efficient and flexible than the old ones. According to the current estimations, the hydropower unit would be able to operate at the capacity of 77–110 MW in pump mode and 44–110 MW in the generator mode. The unit’s cycle efficiency ratio would reach up to 80%, i.e. 6 percentage points more than that of the existing units.

Advantages

Under the current market conditions, the existing 900 MW capacity of the Kruonis PSHP is fully sufficient, however, its further development is needed to ensure Lithuania's energy independence and competitiveness by maintaining sufficient and reliable local power generation capacities, capable of balancing the growing electricity generation from intermittent sources. A new, more flexible and efficient unit would enable the company to address power imbalances more flexibly in real-time.

The expansion of the Kruonis PSHP unit is being analyzed considering the following estimated future market trends:

  • Development of renewable energy sources (RES) in the region. The new Kruonis PSHP unit would provide an opportunity to solve one of the main global challenges posed by RES development – to integrate and adjust the imbalances created by wind and solar intermittent generation in real-time. With an increasing share of RES in the power generation, the demand for such services will grow further.
  • NordBalt, LitPol Link and Harmony Link connections. The price difference in the markets of neighboring countries at certain periods would allow Kruonis PSHP to use its capacities to trade electricity, i.e. to sell the cheaper night-time electricity at peak day-time prices.
  • Synchronization with the continental Europe. Together with the integration into UCTE, Lithuania will have to take on more responsibilities for the grid management and balancing. The flexible unit of Kruonis PSHP could serve as a tool for provision of needed ancillary services. After the synchronisation of electricity systems of the Baltic states with the grid of Continental Europe is complete, the Baltic states will have to regulate the frequency and load themselves at the Baltic Load-Frequency Control Block. To regulate system’s frequency (50 Hz), a process for regulating frequency and balancing capacity reserves as well as a frequency restoration process and reserves will be used. Given that it is more flexible than the other four hydro-units, the 5th hydro-unit will have a technological capacity to offer new ancillary services to the market.
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Investments

Starting from 2013, the project was included in the list of Projects of Common Interest of the European Union (the EU), together with other energy infrastructure projects of regional importance thus obtaining possibilities to acquire the EU financial support from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) Fund.

In order to accelerate the implementation of the project, the Company applied for CEF financing for several feasibility studies:
Project No. 4.7-0016-LT-S-M-17 – “Evaluation of technical condition of the infrastructure and penstock site for the Kruonis PSPP Expansion”.
Project No. 4.7-0005-LT-S-M-19 - "Evaluation of different technological solutions for the extension of Kruonis HPSPP and socioeconomic analysis".

Completed works

About 75% of all the needed construction works have been completed when constructing the existing infrastructure of Kruonis PSHP and building the first four hydropower units.

A large part of the preparatory works for the Kruonis PSHP development project has been completed, such as the feasibility study, environmental assessment, and technical specifications. The estimated duration of the project's implementation would be four to five years.

In 2019, the European Commission approved a partial funding for studies of the pile field and infrastructure (Project No. 4.7-0016-LT-S-M-17). The study is aimed at assessing whether the current state of the pile field on which the new penstock is to be constructed meets all technical requirements. This study is a step further in order to fully prepare for the possible implementation of the extension project of the power plant. The research was completed in 3rd Quarter 2019. More information regarding the results of the study can be accessed here (in Lithuanian only)

In 2019, the European Commission approved the partial funding for the implementation of the technological feasibility study and the socioeconomic analysis of the fifth unit of Kruonis PSHP (Project No. 4.7-0005-LT-S-M-19). It aims to determine the best technological solution to be installed in Kruonis power plant as well as to determine the socioeconomic value generated by such installation. Such feasibility study has been completed in April 2020. More information regarding the results of the study can be accessed here (in Lithuanian only)

In the National Energy Independence Strategy approved by the Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania on 21 June 2018, the development of Kruonis PSHP was included in the list of tasks of major importance in the electricity sector.

In 2021 after the start of the project implementation, tenders for the selection of the general contractor and FIDIC engineer were initiated, with plans to conclude contracts in 2023. At the same time, the environmental impact assessment selection procedure was re-performed. The responsible authorities, after evaluating the selection documents, concluded that the new hydro unit will not have a negative impact on the environment.

Project is co-financed by the Connecting Europe Facility of the European Union

For further inquiries: gamyba@ignitis.lt