Latvia’s AST to invest 444.85 million euros in transmission system by 2034

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Latvia’s transmission system operator, JSC “Augstsprieguma tīkls” (AST), has outlined a comprehensive investment plan to enhance the country’s energy infrastructure. According to the development plan submitted to the Public Utilities Commission, AST plans to invest 444.85 million euros in the transmission system by 2034. This ambitious project will see 82.12 million euros co-financed by European Union funds, underscoring the regional significance of the initiative.

A major milestone for AST and the Baltic States will be the start of synchronous operation with the European network next year. This strategic priority is crucial for Latvia’s energy independence and is recognised as a project of common interest by the European Union due to its regional impact. Arnis Daugulis, a board member of AST, emphasised that integrating innovative equipment for system inertia and energy-storage battery systems into the transmission network is essential for successful synchronisation. Additionally, connecting large-scale renewable energy power plants to the transmission system will be a key focus in the coming years.

The construction of BESS at AST substations in Rēzekne and Tume is a pivotal project for enhancing the safety and stability of Latvia’s energy system. These state-of-the-art battery systems, with a total power of 80 MW and a capacity of 160 MWh, will provide high-speed, automatically-activated frequency regulation reserves crucial for synchronization mode. These systems will offer a more economical solution compared to conventional plants, supporting the growing share of renewable resources in the energy system.

AST is also installing three synchronous condensers in Grobiņa, Venstpils, and Līksna, which are vital for synchronisation. These condensers will provide the necessary inertia in the electric power system, ensuring short-circuit power for relay protection and the safe integration of solar and wind power plants. Similar installations are being undertaken in Lithuania and Estonia, with each condenser station offering a reactive power capacity of 100 MVAr and 2090 MWsec of inertia to the power network.

From now until 2034, AST plans to invest 30 to 38 million euros annually in the reconstruction of 330kV and 110kV substations, lines, and distribution points. These investments are crucial for maintaining the stable operation of the transmission system and ensuring a continuous supply of electricity to users.

The expansion of renewable energy sources (RES) is a significant component of AST’s strategy. By connecting renewable power to the electricity transmission network, AST is contributing to Latvia’s energy and climate goals. Currently, the reserved capacity in the transmission network for RES projects totals 6 GW, with plans to connect 44 RES projects within the next three years. Multiple projects are already progressing with connection agreements signed and construction underway.

AST’s development plan also explores the dynamics of renewable energy power plant connections to the electricity transmission network and prospective offshore development projects in the Baltic Sea region. Potential interconnections between Latvia and Sweden, as well as the Baltics and Germany, could provide future opportunities for exporting electricity produced in Latvia.

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