On October 28 the Lithuanian power system celebrated its 70th anniversary

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Exactly 70 years ago in October, 1945, the Lithuanian power system was put into operation. The operation of generators at the Kaunas and Vilnius power plants was synchronised after a power line connecting the power plants had been installed, and the balance between power generation and consumption was maintained by the central system control centre, the Lithuanian electricity transmission system operator Litgrid reports.

Until then, the first system control centres in Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipeda and Siauliai had been only used to control the electricity supply of the district. There was simply no need for a common system control centre, as each power plant only supplied electricity to its respective district.

"The power system evolved with a need for centralised control. After the operations of several power plants had been joined into a single system, their coordinated control with a more reliable power supply for consumers became feasible: in case of a failure at one of the sections, it was then possible to ensure supply to consumers from another source," said Daivis Virbickas, CEO of Litgrid, the electricity transmission system operator.

During its seven decades of operation, the national power system was subjected to multiple changes and alterations, as its managers in charge of the system's control continued to explore new methods for ensuring its appropriate adaptation to the varying needs of consumers. Not long after its establishment, the system primarily entered a stage of development: the period throughout 1953-1965 was characterised by the intensive construction of power plants and installation of power lines to ensure power access for everyone. The next critical task for the power system was its reliability and stability, ensured by increasingly smarter technologies. The present Litgrid system control centre located in Vilnius is the most modern control centre in the Baltics. All the information necessary for system control is obtained remotely, and the dispatchers who work there are required to understand the meanings of signals, make decisions, and press the correct buttons at the right moment.

On the occasion of the 70th Anniversary of the system, Litgrid has launched a new website, www.elektrosistorija.lt, describing all the development stages of this power system and the path of electricity to the consumer.

"Although the absence of electricity in our daily life is impossible to imagine, we can also hardly imagine the way that it reaches us. We have made an attempt to speak about these complex processes in simple terms to make sure that every electricity consumer understands how many complex decisions are involved only to allow them to use an electric kettle or turn on a TV," explained Virbickas.

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