The TSO NPC Ukrenergo received a letter from DTEK Vostenergo informing of the termination of gas supply to DTEK Luhanska TPP from 7am on October 1, which will cut the power plant completely off the grid.
Amid the deficit of anthracite coal, Luhanska TPP has been burning natural gas for electricity generation for over a month.
In the event of shutting down the Luhanska TPP, and in order to prevent a full-scale blackout in the North Lugansk oblast, Ukrenergo will have to resort to scheduled outages.
“In order to prevent a complete blackout of the northern part of the Luhansk oblast with the absence of fuel at the Luhanska TPP, the TSO resorts to controlled restrictions on the power supply to consumers. These restrictions are scheduled and agreed in advance, including based on the data provided by the local DSO – LLC Lugansk Energy Association (LEA). The goal is to prevent automatic blackouts uncontrolled by dispatchers in the region in the event of the Luhanska TPP’s shut-down. Stable operation of the power grid depends on the coordinated work of the staff at the Luhanska TPP, NPC Ukrenergo and LEA during the power plant is shut down and scheduled outages are in effect,” – Vitalii Zaichenko, Ukrenergo’s Chief Dispatcher.
Outage scheduling procedure is prescribed by the Instruction approved by Order of the Ministry of Energy and Coal Industry No. 456 of November 23, 2006.
Currently, the provisions of the Instruction are also regulated by the Law of Ukraine “On the Electricity Market”, Transmission and Distribution Network Codes and the Rules on security of electricity supply.
An emergency mode will be initiated following restricted supply of natural gas to Luhanska TPP.
Which is to say, restrictions in electricity supply to consumers will be determined by how much fuel is supplied to the plant.
Ukrenergo is going to curtail consumption in the area by 20-140 MW, depending on the time of day.
The scope of curtailment depends on the power flow along the 110 kV OHL Sil’ – Bakhmut – Yuvileina and 110 kV OHL Svatove – Kurylivka, the only connection between the Luhansk oblast and the IPS of Ukraine.
The schedules will affect up to 50% of all consumers in the north of the Luhansk oblast.
Opting not to use outage schedules in the absence of fuel at the TPP could lead to a total blackout of the entire region.
The longer the power plant is shut down, the longer it will take to start it back up: three hours to three days, or even more.
Ukrenergo states with all responsibility that this situation could have been avoided:
- if the Luhanska TPP had had a stable supply of coal by rail from the government-controlled territory;
- if the power plant had had a steady supply of natural gas;
In such a case, Ukrenergo would not have had to resort to scheduled outages.
In order to avoid an emergency in the Luhansk region, the TSO urged the Ministry of Energy and the Environment, the State Emergency Service and the Security Service of Ukraine to intervene in the situation and to secure the supply of fuel to the Luhanska TPP.
An alternative solution to the problem of power supply of the north Luhansk oblast is construction of a new 500/220kV SS Kreminska near the town of Kreminna, with approach lines to OHL 500kV Donbaska – Donska and OHL 220kV Kreminska – Yuvileina.
This will give a significant boost to the energy security of the Luhansk oblast.
Due to the fact that the Cabinet of Ministers and the Ministry of Energy and Coal Industry delayed approval of permits for the construction of the substation for 17 months, its completion date was pushed to May 2020.
Currently, construction of SS Kreminska resumed and is progressing rapidly towards completion scheduled by the end of May 2020.
It bears mentioning that, with the beginning of the heating season, the output of the Severodonetska CHP can be partially used to meet the needs for power supply in the north of the Luhansk oblast.