The Estonian-Finnish HVDC project EstLink 2, realised in collaboration between the TSOs Elering and Fingrid and costing 320 million Euros, has reached the testing phase. According to Elering’s Chairman of the Board, Mr Taavi Veskimägi, the construction and installation works have finished. On October 18th the last energisations of the connection were carried out and on October 22nd the cable was used for load transmission for the first time.
Before the final takeover of the project, the fine-tuning works and general link tests will continue in the following months. According to the time schedule, the system testing period is going to last until beginning of December, 2013. The goal of the tests is to ensure that the functionality of the system corresponds to the criteria set out in the main task. Different operational parameters and functionality of the converter stations are going to be verified under different power directions and loads. Therefore, the transmission capacity will be increased gradually during the testing period, amounting to up to 770MW during the overload test towards the end of the period. In order to provide the necessary transmission capacity for testing, the intention is to use the market trade surplus from EstLink 1, buying and selling transactions in the day-ahead and intraday markets as well as the up and down regulation of power stations.
“After the tests will be ended in December, the trial operation period will start, which will need to provide assurance that EstLink 2 is ready for everyday smooth functioning. The final project takeover from the constructors is planned to take place in February 2014, according to the deadline established at the project launch. Then we will give the interconnection to the market’s disposal and remove the bottleneck between Estonia and Finland that existed due to the connection capacity limit,” Veskimägi explained.
With the completion of EstLink 2, the total electrical capacity between Estonia and Finland will reach 1000MW. Until the handover of the second phase of the emergency reserve power plant built by Elering in Kiisa, the transmission capacity from Finland to Estonia is limited to 860MW since the largest transmission unit EstLink 2, has to be completely substitutable by reserve capacity in case of failure. The total connection capacity from Estonia to Finland immediately after opening EstLink 2 will be 1000MW.
EstLink 2 consists of converter stations in Estonia and Finland and of a more than 170km long DC line of which 12km is situated on Estonian mainland as a land cable, approximately 147km on the bottom of the Gulf of Finland as a sea cable, and about 14km as an overhead line on Finnish mainland. The cost of the Püssi (Estonia) and Anttila (Finland) converter stations is about 100MEUR, and of the cable line over 180MEUR. The project is supported by a 100MEUR European Union grant.