Estonia's power grid Showing its age

Much of Estonia's electric grid will have to be replaced over the next 15 years. That comment was offered by Riina Viandre, speaking for Estonian Energy, in the wake of last week's power cutoff in Tartu.

He said the existing grid was largely built in the 1960s and that a lifespan of 33 years is considered the critical limit for high-tension lines, with a critical limit of 29 years for medium- and low-tension lines. The optimal length of service for a network is approximately 20 years, he said. More than one-third of Estonia's grid has been operating for 30-40 years, he said, with approximately one-tenth of the system in use more than 40 years.

He said it would be necessary to renew 4.5% of the system annually for the next 15 years to bring the system to optimal condition.

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