SKOLTECH Project: A comprehensive research into the directions of development and effectiveness of Russia’s electric power integration into the Eurasian space, 2015-2017

Project summary

Formation of interstate electric ties, interconnections and markets is a global integration process which occurs in different regions of the world. In North America and Europe there are numerous interstate electric ties (ISETs) and large-scale electricity grids (ISEGs). In South America, some regions of Africa and Southeast Asia interstate electric ties and grids are being actively formed, and in South and Northeast Asia the possibilities of the ISETs expansion and ISEGs establishment are studied. Based on the developed interstate electric network infrastructure the interstate electricity markets have been formed and are operating.

The driving forces of this process are benefits to be gained through the electric power integration, namely: a) reduction in demand for the installed generating capacities thanks to the time difference between load peaks (daily and annual) in different countries and regions: b) enhancement of reliability of the interconnected power systems; c) involvement of renewable (hydro, wind, solar) energy sources in the energy balances of different countries; d) revenues to be received from the electricity trade; e) expansion of electricity markets and intensification of trade in electricity among countries, etc.

Russia, covering a considerable part of Eurasia, is geopolitically destined to interact with the western, southern and eastern neighbors along its borders. This also applies to the fuel, energy and electricity interaction and integration, not only with the neighboring countries of the former Soviet Union (FSU) but also with the Non-FSU countries.

Therefore, it is necessary to develop a methodology to assess the effectiveness of the participation of individual countries in the power grids and construction of interstate electric ties, to improve optimization mathematical models of the expansion of electric power systems and interconnections to study the prospects for the electric power cooperation in Eurasia, and Russia’s role and effectiveness of its participation in this cooperation.

Project objectives
  • Develop a methodology to assess the effectiveness of participation of individual countries in the interstate electric power grid and creation of interstate electric ties;

  • Improve the optimization mathematical model for the expansion of electric power systems and interconnections;

  • Study the prospects for the electric power cooperation in Eurasia, Russia’s role and effectiveness of its participation in this cooperation.
Project description
Research into certain aspects of electric power integration of the Unified Power System (UPS) of Russia in the post-soviet space and with the non-FSU countries were conducted by different organizations in different areas. In particular, close attention was paid to the research into the issues of the effectiveness of the formation of the interstate electric ties and interconnections in the region of Northeast Asia, interconnection of the UPS of Russia and electric power systems and power interconnections of Western European countries, etc.

At the same time comprehensive research is required to justify the electric power integration of the UPS of Russia within the interstate power grid of the FSU countries (first of all Eurasian Economic Union) and non-FSU countries, in terms of technical, economic, structural, operational, reliability, market and environmental aspects of this integration for all geographical directions, as well as a three-level consideration of the electric power integration (see below).

Furthermore, these researches should take into consideration the system benefits from the integration of the national electric power systems, including power, operation, reliability and other benefits. Of great importance is the benefit of seasonal difference in the yearly load peaks which can be implemented in the Southern, Central-Asian, Southern-Asian and East-Asian geographical directions. Simultaneously, the research into the prospects of Russia’s UPS expansion is necessary.

Electric power integration into the Eurasian space is expected to provide considerable benefits for Russia. First of all, these are energy and economic integration benefits to be gained after the interconnection of the foregoing electric power systems. Besides, Russian companies will expand their participation in the electricity markets of the adjacent FSU and non-FSU countries. This will strengthen a geostrategic position of Russia as an important political and economic player, and will increase its role in Eurasia. Further, there will be a growing demand for innovative energy and electric engineering equipment to construct generation and electric network facilities both in Russia and in other countries. This will ensure a larger load of domestic factories of the relevant industries, and create new high-tech factories and jobs. The said researches are necessary to generate the effective strategies, programs and patterns for the expansion and interaction of the UPS of Russia with the national power systems of FSU and non-FSU countries. In the end, since the electric power industry plays an infrastructural role, the electric power integration being a leader and a driving force in the integration process, first of all in the post-soviet space, will serve as a driver of social and economic development of the related industries and activities both in Russia and other countries of Eurasia, first of all Eurasian Economic Union.

A three-level consideration of the integration problem of Russia’s UPS into the Eurasian space is required. First of all, it is necessary to study the issues of Russia’s UPS integration with the national power systems of the FSU countries, primarily, the Eurasian Union.

The Unified Power System created in the USSR provided a reliable and efficient electricity supply to consumers within a common political and economic space. It also made it possible to implement considerable system/integration benefits mentioned above. After the USSR disintegration, the organizational and technological unity of the Unified Power System was lost which resulted in the loss of most of the above benefits. However, a more close electric power reintegration of Russia’s UPS and national power systems of the FSU countries with the formation of the common electricity market in the post-soviet space could provide noticeable integration benefits to all participants of the interconnection.

Secondly, it is necessary to investigate the issues of wider electric power integration of Russia’s UPS with the non-FSU countries. In the service area of Russia’s UPS and the interstate power grid which covers the FSU countries there are various interstate electric power projects which operate, expand and in fact predetermine the directions of such integration. These projects are: the Baltic Sea Ring (BSR), the project of electric ties with Eastern and Western Europe, the Black Sea Regional Transmission Planning Project (BSRTP), the project of ISET between the countries of Central and South Asia - Central Asia South Asia Regional Electricity Market (CASAREM), the project of the NEA power grid formation - North East Asia Regional Electric System Ties (NEAREST), and a more global project – Asian Super Grid.

To study and justify the directions of the integration of Russia’s UPS within the Eurasian space it is necessary to consider various geographical directions of the electric energy integration and expansion of interstate electric ties of the UPS, including Northwestern, Western, Southern, Central-Southern-Asian and East-Asian directions.

Thirdly, the research into the electric power integration requires concurrent investigation of the issues on the future expansion of the UPS of Russia, including the assessment of capacities to be put into operation, mix and allocation of generating capacities (including those export-oriented), backbone tie lines of the UPS and interstate electric ties. Moreover, it is important to deal with the issue of creating a transit line from Siberia to Ural, and further to the Central part of Russia, to ensure maneuverability of energy resources within the entire country and optimization of their production and transport costs.

The first stage of the project is aimed at the development of a methodological approach based on the duality theory for the linear programming problems. A joint analysis of direct and dual problems will make it possible to carry out an in-depth study on the system effectiveness of the participation of countries in interstate power grids and apply its results to the prospective interstate power grid of Northeast Asia.

The second stage suggests сollection of the input technical and economic data on national and regional power systems and their representation in a model format to conduct multi-variant optimization studies of different scenarios of the Eurasian interstate power grid expansion embracing many countries in this region of the world, and representing them with a required degree of detail. Scheme for computations of the ISEG is formed.

In the third stage it is planned to carry out comprehensive investigations into the prospects for the formation of the interstate power grid in Eurasia using the mathematical model of the power system expansion, which makes it possible to optimize the expansion of generating capacities, transfer capabilities of interstate and intersystem electric ties, operating conditions of national and regional power systems that belong to the power grid. These are:

The assessment of efficient amounts, conditions and directions for the power and electric energy exchange between the UPS of Russia and the national electric power systems of the FSU and non-FSU countries.

The calculation of technical parameters, rational loading conditions and economic indices of the interstate electric ties.

The determination of feasible levels for implementing the system benefits within the interstate power grid in the FSU countries, and for the case of the development of interstate electric ties with the countries of the non-FSU countries.

The calculation of efficient coordinated amounts of generating capacities and interstate electric ties to be put into operation in Russia’s UPS and other neighboring countries to achieve the above power exchanges and implement the system benefits.

The novelty of the project consists in comprehensive study of prospective Eurasian electricity grid, which is not only interstate but also intercontinental one, using electric power system expansion model. Earlier only the concept of the ISEG formation was studied. Besides, prospects (including the long-term ones) for development of Russian unified electric power system considering its possible integration into Eurasian electric power space are to be studied in the first time.

Melentiev Energy Systems Institute participates in the study being conducted for RusHydro company on Russian hydropower resources integration into global power markets. The study considers one of the practical aspects of Russia’s electric power integration into Eurasian space, which is the topic of the project.


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