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Europe and Russia to join their electric grids

An ambitious plan to connect the European and Russian power grids could bring a variety of benefits such as security and sustainability to both regions.

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Europe has a well working electricity grid, but blackouts still occur for a variety of reasons, be they natural or man-originated. The EU has considered linking its power grid to that of Russia in order to create a powerful interconnected entity that can overcome power shortages and surges. This, however, requires sophisticated approaches for the monitoring, control and protection of such a grand electric system. The EU-funded project 'Intelligent coordination of operation and emergency control of EU and Russian power grids' (ICOEUR) rose to this challenge, bringing together partners from both regions. They developed novel state estimators that European and Russian transmission system operators (TSOs) could use to examine the state of the electricity grids. Based on wide area monitoring system (WAMS) technology and a central data concentrator, these solutions were successfully tested on a large scale. The system demonstrated that it could successfully measure any instability within large-scale power systems due to voltage deviations or inter-area electric oscillations. This was realised thanks to advanced new algorithms and more centralised data collection. A more detailed look at these efforts has also been outlined on the project website. Overall, the project delivered tools to support the collaboration of TSOs in maintaining individual and general system stability, activating local protection systems when needed. In addition, the project team developed models of European and Russian transmission grids to evaluate the new tools and methods adopted to ensure optimal functioning. Project results have been disseminated through journals, conferences and publications, as well as through stakeholder workshops in Europe and Russia. The project team has also devised an exploitation plan to facilitate adoption of the ICOEUR tools. When this happens, both Europe and Russia will have more powerful and steady electric grids that will minimise downtime and optimise the use of resources. This will contribute to both regions' energy sustainability and security needs.

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