The power systems of Ukraine and Moldova are fully synchronised with the Continental European network. The relevant decision was approved by the association of system operators ENTSO-E on 11 March 2022. Physical operations to interconnect the power systems were performed on 16 March.
This is a historic event that today has become something more than just a guarantee for the development of Ukrainian and European energy sectors. This step will give Ukraine the opportunity to receive electricity if the aggressor continues to destroy our power infrastructure, and thus to save our power system. We are sincerely grateful to our European partners for their great support and assistance during these difficult times. We have been preparing for this event for six years and were on the way towards accomplishing the final preparatory steps for synchronisation when Russia’s villainous attack suddenly broke up our plans. Nevertheless, our power grid proved its resilience by working steadily in an autonomous mode during Russia’s military aggression. After the war, this synchronisation will open wide opportunities for both Ukraine and Europe to develop the electricity market, switch to renewable energy sources and strengthen Europe’s energy security,” said Volodymyr Kudrytskyi, Chairman of the Management Board at Ukrenergo.
Ukrenergo, as the Ukrainian transmission system operator (TSO), has been preparing the power system for synchronisation with ENTSO-E since 2017, when the Agreement on the conditions for the future interconnection was signed. During this time, in cooperation with our international partners, we tested power units of Ukrainian nuclear, thermal, combined heat and power and hydroelectric power plants and created a mathematical model of the power systems of Ukraine and Moldova. Using this model as a base, the Consortium of ENTSO-E transmission system operators performed the study of steady state and dynamic stability of the Ukrainian and Moldovan power systems under the conditions of possible synchronous operation. The results of the studies in general proved technical feasibility of the synchronisation subject to some minor measures Ukrenergo undertook to implement and will implement as soon as the situation makes this possible. Given the current circumstances, Continental Europe TSOs managed to develop and implement alternative solutions allowing the emergency synchronisation within a short timeframe.
Over the past six years, more than 700 million euros has been invested in power infrastructure development, strengthening of IT infrastructure and cybersecurity, while Ukraine has fulfilled the majority of key technical conditions for integration into ENTSO-E.
On 24 February 2022, Ukrenergo disconnected the Ukrainian power system from the networks of Russia and Belarus. On the same day, the Russian army attacked Ukraine. But despite active military hostilities, Ukrenergo successfully completed the system tests in an isolated mode planned for three days. After completing the tests, Ukraine decided not to resume parallel operation with the power systems of the Russian aggressor and Belarus. Instead, Ukrenergo applied for emergency synchronisation with the European power system.
Today, synchronisation of the Ukrainian power system with the European one will reduce Russia’s influence on Central and Western Europe in the energy sector, as well as increase the level of energy security in the whole region.
After the war ends, both Ukraine and Europe will enjoy new opportunities with regard to joint development of electricity markets and facilitation of “green transition.” In particular, the entry of European producers and suppliers of electricity to the Ukrainian market will increase competition and promote the development of market mechanisms. This will also increase the investment attractiveness of the Ukrainian power sector. Ukrainian electricity producers will have the physical opportunity to export their electricity to Europe and will be able to facilitate the full transition of European countries to renewable energy sources.