Eastwards expansion of western European power grid
VERBUND is being offered the opportunity of participating in a large-scale European electricity association. A key role in this could be its high voltage direct current (HVDC) at present installed in Vienna.
An equivalent HVDC is also available at Bayernwerk. One of these plants, which is able to connect two different-type grids, is available as a portal for a pan-European power grid.
Bayernwerk AG, RWE Energie AG, RAO EES Rossii, Ukrinterenergo/Ukrenergo and VERBUND will together examine possibilities to restore a European interconnection system. To this end, cooperation is in the planning stage. The project is currently in an early stage of development: A pre-examination is to determine whether the implementation of an HVDC is economical; if the pre-examination produces positive results, the implementation of the project can be started next year earliest.
The grid couplings commissioned in 1993 had the task of connecting the eastern European grid with the western European UCPTE (now UCTE). Meanwhile, four former Eastern European countries have joined the UCTE grid. The border between the grids has shifted towards the east. This is why the grid couplings of VERBUND and Bayernwerk, for example, might be useful in the west of the Ukraine. However, before the project is implemented, further extensive engineering and economical analyses will be necessary. Electricity supplies from Russia, mainly in the Balkan states, would not be possible before 2002.
An HVDC with an output capacity would, in the case of implementation, provide technical help for as long as the standard of the former eastern European COMECON grid is not yet adapted to that of the UCTE.