A newly-built high voltage power line between Klaipėda and Telšiai has been put into operation. It is the first 330 kV overhead power line built after the restoration of Lithuania's independence. The power line will transmit electricity from Northern Europe to Lithuania when the NordBalt power link begins to operate, energy company Litgrid announced in a statement.
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"The new 330 kV Klaipėda-Telšiai power line substantially enhances the reliability of the power supply to Klaipeda city and region. Until now the western part of Lithuania had only cross-border power links and the electricity between eastern and western parts of Lithuania had been supplied through the territory of neighbours. In addition, the Klaipėda-Telšiai power line is crucial for maximising the benefits of the power link NordBalt which will begin operating in December 2015," said Daivis Virbickas, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Lithuania's electricity transmission system operator Litgrid.

Having 90 km in length, the Klaipėda-Telšiai power line connects transformer substations of these cities. It took three years to build the power line's 265 metal and reinforced support structures. A third of the power line's route is overgrown with forests. It crosses a few rivers, including Minija, at many points. The power line was equipped with reflectors to protect birds migrating through the Minija valley. Next year environmentalists are going to watch the movement of birds in the river's valley and woody areas crossed by the power line. Electromagnetic field measurements will soon be carried out in different sections of the power line to make sure that electromagnetic fields meet hygiene norms and standards of Lithuanian legislation.

"The first high voltage power line built after the re-establishment of Lithuania's independence is the challenge of project management for Lithuanian energy specialists. While implementing this project we accumulated the experience for building other power lines which are necessary for the integration of the national energy system to the networks of continental Europe," said Virbickas.

In 2009, when the power line's construction began, an environmental impact assessment was carried out and a route for the power line was mapped to ensure that the power line bypasses residential areas, cultural heritage objects and mineral deposits.

The value of the power line's preparatory and construction works is put at LTL 68 million (EUR 19.7 million), with 40 percent of the project's cost financed by the European Structural Funds. About LTL 5 million (EUR 1.5 million) was paid in wayleave payments to 600 landowners whose land is traversed by the power line.

The integration of the new power line into the country's power transmission system means that the total length of 330 kV power lines will total 1,760 kilometres. Litgrid controls nearly 6,800 overhead power lines to transmit electricity all over Lithuania and across the border to Latvia, Belarus and Kaliningrad.

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