New 1,000 km long power line bolsters Murmansk energy security in Arctic Russia

The new Kola-Karelia power line. (Rosseti)

“This is the biggest project in the Russian energy distribution system over the last years,” said federal energy minister Nikolai Shulginov as he this week officially opened the new power connection to the country’s Arctic coast.

State company Rosseti has invested more than 59 billion rubles (€670,5 million) in the 1,000 km long line that connects the Leningrad region with Murmansk. It will increase transmission capacity to and from the far northern region by more than 50 percent. The line is carried by about 3,500 support towers, the company informs.

It complements the more than 30 year old existing system. The new total grid capacity is now estimated to 615 MW.

“The new Kola-Karelia transit line strengthens the energy connection between the regions, the transmission capacity is significantly increased,” Minister Shulginov underlined in an address delivered on site.

“It is probably the biggest project in the Russian energy distribution system over the last years,” he said.

Increased power transmission 

The new line will significantly strengthen energy security in the region, and will open up for increased power transmission from the energy-rich Murmansk to Karelia and other more southern regions.

In addition to the power line, the project includes also the reconstruction of four transformer substations.

Murmansk is today a surplus energy region. More than 50 percent of regional production is provided by the Kola Nuclear Power Plant, and another substantial part by hydro power plants.

In the course of the year, the Kola Wind Park will open and add another  201 MW to regional power production capacities. The park that includes 57 turbines will be able to produce up to 750 GWh per year.

The Kola Wind Farm is the first project of its kind that is built in northern Russia. It is developed by Italian company Enel. Parts of the green power is expected to be used for production of green ammonia. That was confirmed by Vladimir Putin in his online meeting with Italian investors this week.

Related stories from around the North: 

Canada: Community in northern Quebec to make the jump from diesel to hydroelectricity, CBC News

Finland: The world could transition entirely to cheap, safe renewable energy before 2050: Finnish study, Yle News

Norway: The quest to turn Norway’s Arctic coast into Northern Europe’s wind power hub, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Italian firm to build giant wind farm in northwestern Russia, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Sweden’s solar industry sees bright future despite shrinking subsidies, Radio Sweden

United States: Despite winter darkness, solar power might work better in rural Alaska than you’d expect, Alaska Dispatch New

Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer

For more news from the Barents region visit The Independent Barents Observer.

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