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Nov 29, 2023 14:18 EEST
November 29 (SeeNews) - Bulgaria's state-owned Electricity System Operator (ESO) said it plans to spend close to 1 billion levs ($561.2 million/511.3 million euro) in power grid upgrades and expansion by 2030 under a joint Bulgarian-Romanian project which has just been fast-tracked by the European Commission.
The EU executive has put the Carmen II project on its list of cross-border projects of common interest, enabling faster roll-out and potential EU funding allocation, ESO said in a press release on Tuesday.
You can download the 2023 Renewable energy in Bulgaria report here
The Bulgarian grid operator is partnering on the project with Romanian peer Transelectrica and power and gas distributor Delgaz Grid. Investments in the joint project will target the expansion and digitalisation of the Bulgarian and Romanian grids, in part to support the addition of new renewable sources. The implementation of new smart grids will also boost capacity and connectivity with Moldova, Hungary and Ukraine.
On the Bulgarian side of the project, ESO will build new fully-digitised 400/110 kV substations, overhaul and upgrade existing substations, and transform them from a low voltage level of 220/110 kV to high-voltage 400/110 kV. Additionally, ESO plans to build 222 km of new 400 kV digitised power lines.
There will be a particular focus on capacity expansion in northeastern Bulgaria in order to harness the region's high potential for renewable energy production estimated at more than 8,000 MW, including in the form of green hydrogen. Most existing or planned onshore wind capactiy in Bulgaria is centred in that region. Bulgaria is yet to install offshore wind capacity, but there are plans for floating wind turbines under the Black Sea Floating Offshore Wind project involving Bulgarian and Romanian companies.
More capacity in northeastern Bulgaria is also needed to secure renewable power transmission along the cross-border North-South priority corridor, ESO said.
With EU electricity consumption expected to grow by around 60% and cross-border transmission capacity due to double by 2030, the EU Commission on Tuesday proposed an action plan to expedite concrete actions on improving grid efficiency. As much as 584 billion euro ($641.1 billion) in investments will be necessary to ready transmission grids for a more digitised, decentralised and flexible system, the Commission said in a separate statement.
(1 euro = 1.95583 levs)
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