Lithuania gets energy-independence boost with EIB loan to Ignitis

Source: 3/14/2024, Location: Not categorized

Loan of €105 million is to expand key pumped storage hydropower plant.
Financing will also support green transition in Lithuania.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is lending €105 million to Lithuanian utility Ignitis Group to expand a key pumped storage hydroelectric power plant. The project involves installing a fifth pump-turbine unit at the Kruonis Pumped Storage Hydroelectric Power Plant, or Kruonis PSHP, making it one of the largest energy-storage facilities in Europe.

The expansion supports Lithuania’s goal of meeting 100% of electricity demand from renewable-energy sources by 2030. The steep growth of intermittent renewable-energy sources, mainly wind and photovoltaic, requires a strong increase of flexibility in the grid, including storage capacity and frequency and voltage control, which can be provided by pumped storage hydropower plants.

The investment supports the Ignitis Group's goal to quadruple its Green Generation capacity from 1.2 GW in 2022 to 4–5 GW by 2030.

"We are delighted to sign the agreement with the EIB, which opens the door to new opportunities by expanding Kruonis PSHP infrastructure and implementing sustainable-energy solutions for the future, said Ignitis Group Chief Financial Officer Jonas Rimavicius. “The necessary investments will also increase electricity production and facilitate the development of green generation."

With the installation of the fifth unit (110 megawatts), the capacity of Kruonis PSHP will increase to 1,010 MW. The unit is due to be completed by the end of 2026.

"Enabling the energy transformation through innovation and infrastructure is key to securing our future,” said EIB Vice-President Thomas Östros, who is responsible for operations in Lithuania. “By investing in renewable-energy sources and sustainable technologies, we do not only ensure energy security but also pave the way towards a low-carbon economy. As the EU’s climate bank, we are committed to putting EU climate goals into practice – and partnering with Ignitis is a good example of this.”

Storage technologies act as enabling infrastructure in the energy transition and contribute towards increasing security of fuel supply by reducing dependency on energy imports and ensuring price stability. The project contributes to the integration of low-carbon generation and thus reduces carbon and air pollution, with positive climate and health externalities.

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