New retrofitted energy groups will be commissioned in the following period, with a net available power of at least 5,100 MW, which will replace the thermal power groups decommissioned, according to forecasts of the Power Transmission Grid (PTG) Development Plan for 2018-2027, recently prepared by Transelectrica based on data sent by energy producers. The new power transmission grid development plan takes into account an increase in energy consumption by 7.9% by 2027 and an increase in the interconnection capacity from 7% of the production capacity currently installed to over 9% in 2020.
Romania is part of the north-south electricity interconnection in Central and Southeast Europe (‘NSI East Electricity’). A chapter of the Plan is dedicated to Projects of Common Interest (PCI) approved at European level under Regulation of the European Commission, i.e.: The Project 138 ‘Black Sea Corridor’ and the Project 144 ‘Mid Continental East Corridor’. By implementing these projects, Romania’s interconnection capacity will increase from 7% of currently installed production capacity to more than 9% in 2020 and 15% in 2030, according to Transelectrica representatives. Note that the targets set by the European Commission for the degree of interconnection to be achieved on the cross-border sections of the Member States are 10% by 2020 and 15% by 2030.
At present, 80% of existing thermal power groups have exceeded their operational life span. Up to now, there have been some retrofitting and/or upgrades for thermal power groups in the national power system (NPS), but very few are equipped with emission reduction facilities to enable them to comply with EU rules, the cited document shows. Thus, for the period 2018-2027, the grid development analysis took into account a Baseline Scenario for the evolution of generation capacities which includes a program of definitive operating withdrawals of the thermal power groups, when the lifespan is reached or due to failure to meet the requirements of the European Union on pollution, totalling 4,996 MW of available net power, of which 2,714 MW by 2022 inclusively. In some cases, the disposal of groups is associated with the intention to replace them with new, more performing groups. New capacities must have a high global efficiency, be flexible and ensure compliance with the conditions imposed under the network code and the related regulations, at European level, Transelectrica shows in the forecast prepared. The company estimates that, in the following ten years, total capacities of over 2,800 MW will resume operation and new capacities with a power of 2,300 MW will appear, this without taking into account the potential new investments in the renewable sector.
“According to this development scenario, in the same period four groups from Turceni, three groups from Rovinari, one group from Craiova and one nuclear power group from Cernavoda (stopped for retrofitting to extend the lifespan) will be recommissioned, totalling a net available power of 2,841 MW. As regards the intentions to install new groups, according to information sent by the existing producers, they total a net available power of around 2,306 MW, excluding projects based on renewable energy sources (RES),” Transelectrica shows.
Excluding the new renewable energy capacities, Transelectrica lists as new capacities that will emerge in the following ten years the nuclear groups 3 and 4 from Cernavoda NPP, available towards 2027; new gas-fired groups (gas turbines or combined cycle, of condensation – Romgaz is carrying out an investment in a gas-fired power plant with combined cycle in Iernut, with a capacity of 400MW) or cogeneration (Bucharest) and the completion of hydropower plants in various stages of execution.
Transelectrica has also analysed for the new power grid development plan a scenario based on renewable energy: the installed capacity of wind and photovoltaic power plants for 2022 would be 5,000 MW, and by 2027 it would reach about 6,000 MW. This ‘green’ version is characterized by increasing power installed in power plants, as a result of economic and financial conditions conducive to the implementation of energy policies promoted at the EU level (integration of renewable sources, increasing energy efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, development of smart grid solutions and energy storage capacities), in conjunction with the evolution of electricity consumption. An alternative scenario, considered favourable by Transelectrica representatives, foresees a cumulative increase in electricity consumption by about 9.75%, as follows: 5.08% in the medium term (2022) and other around 4.67% in the long term (2027).
The new plan includes 77 investment projects, also provided in the plan approved in 2016, and nine new investment projects, according to the document presented by Transelectrica. Following analyses made by the Transmission and System Operator – TSO, it resulted that 24 investment projects, also provided in the plan approved in 2016, plus other 3 new investment projects are necessary to ensure supply safety, to integrate production of new power plants, including those using renewable energy sources and to increase the interconnection capacity. Also, from the category of projects whose target is to upgrade the grid, 52 investment projects resulted as being necessary (also provided in the plan approved in 2016), plus six new investment projects. These analyses led to the identification of technical solutions for strengthening the PTG, i.e. investment projects necessary to eliminate congestions on the main directions of power flows between the production areas in the east of the country and consumption areas in the west, corresponding to the following power transmission corridors: the north-south corridor linking Dobrogea and Moldavia; the east-west corridor linking Dobrogea and Bucharest (including the adjacent area); the east-west corridor linking Moldavia and the western part of the PTG, Transelectrica representatives mention.
Currently, 80% of the existing thermal power groups have their lifespan exceeded, and almost 84% of overhead lines (OHL) have the commissioning year during 1960-1979, in conditions in which the estimated economic lifecycle of the lines is 48 years. Of the total installed power in transformers/self-transformers about 21% was commissioned between 1960 and 1979, 22% between 1980 and 1999, and 57% after 2000.
Estimated evolution of renewable capacities
- Commissioning of wind power plants with an aggregate installed power of:
- 3,400 MW by 2022 and 3,600 MW by 2027 in the baseline scenario;
- 3,500 MW by 2022 and 4,000 MW by 2027 in the green scenario;
- Commissioning of photovoltaic (solar) power plants with an aggregate installed power of:
- 1,500 MW by 2022 and 1,600 MW by 2027 in the baseline scenario;
- 1,500 MW by 2022 and 2,000 MW by 2027 in the green scenario.