Ukraine grid operator and private energy infrastructure holding company DTEK announced Wednesday that Ukraine’s United Energy System (UES) was synchronized with the Hungarian energy system through Burshtyn TPP.
The synchronization took place at 12:14 a.m. Eastern European time. Connections with Slovakia and Romania will come next, according to DTEK.
The same day, the European Commission said Ukraine synchronized its power grid with the greater European power grid via Moldova.
“We'll continue working to stabilize their power systems," said Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission.
"The electricity grids of Ukraine & Moldova have been successfully synchronized with the Continental European Grid. This will help Ukraine to keep their electricity system stable and lights on,” said Kadri Simson, EU Commissioner for Energy.
According to DTEK’s announcement, the synchronization, which takes place against the backdrop of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, involved work from the Ministry of Energy, NEC Ukrenergo, Ukraine’s electricity producers and European partners.
The synchronizations are the result of years of testing, study and risk mitigation, according to a press release from ENTSO-E, which has been working toward this goal since 2017. The request for an emergency synchronization sent February 27 and February 28 by Ukrainian TSO and Moldovan TSO sped up the process, however.
"This is a significant milestone for the Continental Europe TSOs working in collaboration with Ukrenergo and Moldelectrica that are operating their respective power systems under extremely difficult circumstances," according to ENTSO-E, which includes grid operators from 35 countries.
The emergency synchronization allows for interconnection without all measures being completed but by ensuring additional mitigation measures to limit the operational risks. It will allow supporting Ukrenergo and Moldelectrica in maintaining the stability of the Ukrainian and Moldovan power systems.
The Continental Europe Synchronous Area is the largest synchronous electrical grid (by connected power) in the world, according to ENTSO-E. The synchronized frequency is 50 Hz and the area supplies over 400 million customers in 24 countries, including most of the European Union.
“Thermal power plants, in particular the DTEK Energy TPPs, have made a major contribution. Despite the ongoing war, energy sector participants have worked incredibly hard over the past three weeks, on top of the years of preparation, to fulfil the final technical commitments,” according to DTEK’s announcement.
The power plants’ generation units have been reconfigured with automatic frequency and power control systems to ensure the current frequency is maintained, in accordance with ENTSO-E standards, according to DTEK. Certification tests have also been conducted.
As of 2017, DTEK had an installed capacity of 17,710 MW and generated 37.14 TWh of electricity, however that same year DTEK lost control over its enterprises located in certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.