Ignitis Group expands pumped hydro facility in Lithuania


Ignitis, a Lithuanian state-run energy group, said it has made a final investment decision on a project to expand the 900 MW Kruonis Pumped Storage Plant near Kruonis, central Lithuania. It said it will invest around €150 million ($164.2 million) to expand the facility, which is currently divided into four units, by another 110 MW.

“The new unit, which is the object of the Contract, will have a wider range in generation mode compared to the previously planned unit, starting from 0 MW instead of 44 MW, and in pump mode it will be able to draw as low as 59 MW, while the previously planned unit had a minimum threshold of 77 MW,” it said in a statement.

Ignitis awarded the mentioned contract for the deployment of the fifth unit to German hydropower specialist Voigt Group, which is expected to finalize the project expansion initiative by the end of 2026.

“The wider parameter range of Kruonis PSHP’s 5th unit will significantly contribute towards the energy independence of the region, help ensure the development of renewable energy sources and the reliability of the energy system,” said the company.

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The pumped hydro facility operates in conjunction with the Kaunas Hydroelectric Power Plant, which has a capacity of 101 MW and is able to cover around 3% of Lithuania's electricity demand.

According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the Baltic country had an installed renewable energy capacity of 1,617 MW at the end of 2022. Of this capacity, 814 MW from wind power and 564 MW from photovoltaics. It is still heavily dependent on energy imports. A plan for energy independence by 2050 foresees the large scale deployment of renewable energy resources.

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