Ukraine connects to the European power grid

“This is a historic step for our relations, in this respect Ukraine is now part of Europe!” On the Twitterthe words of the European Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson, are strong. On Wednesday, March 16, 2022, at exactly 11:03 am, Ukraine joined the European power grid. The Ukrainian president was delighted with this connection: “Ukraine became a member of the European Energy Union. Now Ukrainian electricity flows to Europe and vice versa.”

In the context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the challenge of this event is the security of electricity distribution in the country. “We are proud: for technical, humanitarian and almost human reasons for our colleagues at Ukrenergo (a company that is engaged in the transmission, control and distribution of electricity in Ukraine, ed.) and for the Ukrainian people”welcomes Jean-Paul Ruben, Director of Operations Power grid (RTE) who participated in this feat.

Ukraine joins European energy solidarity

“From Lisbon to Kyiv, all cars beat in the same rhythm.” In these words, Jean-Paul Rubin describes the operation of the European electrical network, these 300,000 km of lines on one frequency. It takes the form of an electrical interdependence of about thirty European countries. This solidarity ensures the supply of electricity – in case of increased need, the state can supply itself beyond its borders – but it also allows you to constantly regulate the flow of electricity produced.

Since 2017, Ukrenergo has been eyeing this synchronous link. From that moment on, the project was under development: by 2023, Ukraine had to disconnect from Russia in order to join Europe and thereby put an end to this.Soviet legacy. The deadline has been moved due to the crisis situation in the country.

Great job in just 2 weeks

At the end of February 2022, Ukrenergo urgently requested connection to the European power grid. Across on the company’s YouTube channel, CEO Vladimir Kudritsky describes the significance of this rally as follows: “This is a security issue: today, even in the face of an active struggle against the destruction of the energy infrastructure, we can count on supplies from our European partners.”

“On February 24, we disconnected our power system from the Russian one.” he announces. Four hours before the start of the war, Ukrainian switches were opened, thus cutting off the passage of electricity on both sides of the border. For two weeks, Ukraine was isolated from the power grids of its neighbors. Time for the latest updates before connecting to Europe. This “construction” was supposed to end in 2023.

Blanket to share

The technical aspect has also been adjusted: the oscillation phenomenon. The European network is extensive, which can cause problems at its ends. “Like a huge bed with a tight blanket image Laurent Rossel, Regional Director of the European network of operators of transmission systems for electricity. At the ends we will stretch the cover. Even if this phenomenon is system-wide, it is important to ensure that the connection with Ukraine does not reinforce it.

RTE claims that this link will not be able to degrade the European system. Already now, the exchange of flows will occur only when necessary, because Ukraine is self-sufficient in electricity. But, above all, in the event of a Russian takeover or a major incident in the Ukrainian network, it will be enough for Europe to turn off the country in order to avoid a complete shutdown of the entire Old Continent.

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