Russian Grids has successfully concluded pilot testing the two-way transmission of electricity between Russia and Finland, thereby confirming that the equipment is fully ready to “reverse” the electricity between these two countries in the amount of up to 350MW.
This strategic project will increase the reliability of the energy system in the North-Western Federal District while creating the possibility of transferring electricity from Finland to the St. Petersburg energy system in the event of an emergency.
The project is headed by Roman Berdnikov, who is currently the First Deputy General Director on Technical Policy at Russian Grids JSC, and began in 2008 as part of a joint working group with Fingrid Oyj that worked on developing a market approach to utilising the throughput capacity between Russia and Finland. The working group also includes System Operator of the Unified Power System OJSC, Inter RAO OJSC and the Market Council non-commercial partnership.
The working group developed and approved the Model of Bilateral Trade between Russia and Finland and the Plan to implement all of the necessary operations, which includes the technical project titled “Evaluating the capabilities of the equipment at the Vyborg Transformer Complex while reversing the flow of power through the Complex Converter and Rectifying Installation No. 4”.
One of the blocks in the complex converter and rectifying installation was renovated as part of the work conducted at the 400 kV Vyborgskaya substation in St. Petersburg Oblast. The complex is now equipped with unique equipment that connects two non-synchronised energy systems between two countries, an installation that has no equals anywhere else in Russia. Since it was commissioned in 1980, the substation has been transmitting electricity one-way and exporting it to Finland.
The first test transfer of electricity from Finland to Russia in the amount of 2,700 MW/hour occurred in September of 2013 at one of the four rectifying installations that was operating in reverse.
The technical programme developed by the St. Petersburg Direct Current Scientific Research Institute underwent final testing. In particular, the process tested readiness for the use of modernised equipment and evaluated the possibility of regulating voltage in the high-voltage direct current link in reverse mode, changing the load from 100MW to 320MW while stopping at the 100MW, 200MW and 320MW points.
The project operator is a subsidiary of Russian Grids JSC – Federal Grid Company Unified Russian Energy System OJSC.
According to the General Director of the North-West Inter-regional Dispatch Office Vasiliy Sinyanskiy, thanks to commissioning this reverse mode, the Russian electricity market has gained the status of being two-directional, which is very important in the modern world. Additionally, the project also made significant contributions to improving the work of the dispatch officers at the North-West Inter-regional Dispatch Office, to developing and to strengthening Russian positions on the international electricity market.