On 28 June 2017, National Energy Company UKRENERGO (the state-owned operator of Ukraine's unified power system, i.e., the TSO) signed an agreement on Ukraine’s accession to the European Network of Transmission System Operators (ENTSO-E) in Brussels.
This agreement is a starting point for the integration of the Unified Power System of Ukraine (the “Ukrainian Power Grid”) into the electricity system of continental Europe. This integration will result in the full synchronisation of the Ukrainian Power Grid with the electricity systems of European countries.
It is worth mentioning that Ukraine already has electricity interconnectors with its neighbouring EU countries Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania. However, only Burshtyn Thermal Power Plant (2,400 MW) of DTEK Zakhidenergo (4,700 MW in total), located in the Ivano-Frankivsk region of Ukraine, is synchronised with the European grid (which is why it is called the “Burshtyn island”) and it is only capable of exporting up to 650 MW of electricity to Europe due to the limited capacity of the interconnectors. The rest of the Ukrainian Power Grid is synchronised with Russia, Belarus and Moldova. This significantly limits Ukraine’s electricity export and its import capabilities.
Synchronisation will have a positive impact on Ukraine’s energy security, will boost the export of Ukrainian electricity to European countries (according to Ukrenergo’s expectations – from 5 bln kWh to 18-20 bln kWh) and also promote competition on the Ukrainian electricity market.
The text of the agreement has not been made public, but according to Ukrenergo’s announcement it provides for a list of requirements (to enable accession to the European power system) and a road map to achieve full synchronisation. In particular, the next steps for Ukraine shall be:
completion of technological and regulatory requirements (in accordance with a list of requirements);
switching from synchronised operation with the power systems of the CIS countries to an isolated operational mode; and
full synchronisation of the Ukrainian Power Grid with the European one.