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Lithuanian Litgrid commissions first BESS pilot project [free access]

September 23, 2021

Litgrid, Lithuania’s transmission system operator (TSO), with support from leading global energy storage technology, software and services provider, Fluence and Siemens AG—has commissioned the first battery energy storage system (BESS) project in the Baltics. The Virtual Transmission Line (VTL) pilot installed at Vilnius substation will demonstrate the benefits of storage at the transmission level and support Lithuania’s plans for clean energy independence and energy security.


With VTLs, energy storage is placed along a transmission line and operated to inject or absorb real and reactive power, mimicking transmission line flows. This type of storage is expected to provide several other network services, including grid-forming capabilities, virtual inertia for local grid stability, black start capability, power oscillation damping and voltage control mode.


The 1 MW/1 MWh battery is Lithuania’s first grid-scale BESS and will be among the first VTL projects in Europe to be tested. The project will help in preparation for the implementation of the larger BESS project planned. Four 50 MW/50 MWh BESS projects with a combined rated output and capacity of 200 MW/200 MWh are planned to be installed by October 2022, at substations in Vilnius, Alytus, Utena and Šiauliai.


They will be deployed by Energy Cells, a subsidiary of energy transmission and exchange group EPSO-G Group, which is owned by the Lithuanian state and controlled by the ministry of energy. Energy Cells was established in January 2021 to work on the 200 MW portfolio .


Lithuania plans to increase its use of renewable electricity from 20 per cent to 45 per cent in 2030, and eventually to nearly 100 per cent by 2050. However, this high penetration of non-synchronous renewable generation is likely to present power system stability challenges, and hence the pilot project is an important step toward grid protection and resiliency, enabling the use of energy storage systems to mitigate different types of potential events affecting grid reliability and stability.