Investments are underway to contribute to the European Union’s goal to establish an internal market and provide clean energy for everyone, Romania’s transmission system operator said. On January 1, Transelectrica will have a cross-border export capacity of 2.8 GW and the ability to import power at a volume of 3 GW, compared to 2.2 GW in both directions one year before and the targeted level of 5 GW.
Following the approval from Romania’s energy market regulator ANRE of its ten-year development plan through 2029, Transelectrica announced it would double the cross-border transmission capacity to 5 GW in both ways within five years. As of January 1, 2.8 GW will be available for sending power to Bulgaria, Hungary, Serbia and Ukraine and the import capacity will reach 3 GW, the country’s transmission system operator (TSO) said.
The overall transmission capacity on the border with Hungary reached 1 GW
At the beginning of the year, the capacity was 2.2 GW in both directions. The planned investments will boost the volume to more than 5 GW by January 2026, said Transelectrica’s Directorate Chairman Cătălin Nițu said.
The ten-year investment plan is worth EUR 1.16 billion, of which EUR 300 million should be grants from the European Union. Transelectrica said it is contributing to the establishment of the EU’s internal market and the trade bloc’s objective to get access to clean energy for everyone.
Upgrading, building power links
The state-owned company intends to integrate renewable and other sources of electricity in the regions of Dobruja and Moldova including an offshore wind power plant in the Black Sea of 300 MW and an overhead power line from Dobruja to Bucharest. The Reşiţa-Timișoara-Săcălaz-Arad link will be upgraded to 400 kV from 220 kV, resulting in a boost for the cross-border capacity with Hungary and Serbia.
The interconnection with Hungary is planned to be improved with a 400 kV interconnection from Oradea to Józsa. The 400 kV overhead power line from Oradea Sud to Nădab has just been put into operation, enabling the connection with Békéscsaba in Hungary. The bilateral cross-border capacity reached an overall 1 GW, Transelectrica said.
Power imports jump
Official data shows Romania’s electricity imports jumped 58% in the first ten months of the year on an annual basis, to 6.3 TWh, against a 49% rise in imports, to 4.1 TWh. Domestic power output fell more than 7% to 45.6 TWh and final consumption dropped 5.1% to 43.6 TWh.
Electricity consumption in Romania hit a year-to-date high of 9.39 GW on December 8
Transelectrica revealed that electricity consumption reached a year-to-date high of 9.39 GW on December 8, compared to the peak of 9.15 GW from the same month of 2019. The year-over-year decrease, attributed to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, was reversed in November, it added.
The all-time high, 9.93 GW, was registered in January 2017. Romania’s active production capacity has lately held around 7.2 GW, maintaining its status of a net power importer.
Households must pick supplier
In other news, the household electricity market will be liberalized in January. Consumers can make a contract with a supplier or remain in a universal service regime.
If they opt for the latter or suppliers fail to meet obligations, they will get power from the supplier of last resort and the tariffs may be higher.