The national electricity transmission system operators of Albania and Montenegro, OST and CGES, signed a memorandum of understanding on the reconstruction of the existing high-voltage power line between the two countries and the installation of another one.
Aiming to increase the capacity and quality of cross-border electricity transmission, Albania’s Energy Regulatory Authority (ERE) said a year ago that it was planning the reconstruction of an overhead power line linking the country with Montenegro as well as to build another one. The projects have now been made official with the signing of a memorandum between the Transmission System Operator (OST) of Albania and Montenegrin Electric Transmission System (CGES).
One project is for refitting the 220 kV interconnector between hydroelectric station Vau i Dejës in Albania and the neighboring country’s capital Podgorica. The 278 MVA line was built in 1972. With the reconstruction, the interconnection capacity will be strengthened, OST said. It is 160 kilometers long.
In addition, the Albanian company said, a 110 kV power line of 16 kilometers will be built between Ulcinj in Montenegro and Velipoja. The two projects are aimed at increasing the security and quality of electricity supply, OST added.
Both countries are about to launch electricity exchanges
The Montenegrin Power Exchange – MEPX was supposed to be launched by the end of 2022 with the introduction of a day-ahead market, but the go-live was pushed back to April.
Similarly, the start of trading at the Albanian Power Exchange (ALPEX) has been delayed several times. The bourse should also begin operations with a day-ahead market. Interconnections are crucial for pairing and integrating electricity markets.
CGES is planning more interconnections
The Montenegrin Electric Transmission System told Balkan Green Energy News that it is planning to invest just under EUR 200 million in the next five years in the expansion and maintenance of its network. It reiterated that it intends to install interconnectors with neighboring states, starting with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Albania.
Italy’s TSO Terna will lay the second undersea cable between Villanova and Lastva
The priority is to finish the domestic Lastva-Pljevlja 400 kV line, CGES pointed out. The project is on the list of the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E). The company noted that in January it put into operation a temporary line between Lastva and Brezna, adding that it increased the system’s stability and security and reduced transmission losses. The 110 kV power line runs below and above ground.
As for other plans, the second interconnector is envisaged to be installed under the Adriatic Sea between Villanova in Italy and Lastva in Montenegro. The modul with a high-voltage direct current (HVDC) capacity of 600 MW should be laid by Terna, Italy’s transmission system operator – TSO.