The country’s power transmission and generation systems have met heightened electricity demand prompted by extreme weather conditions, including heavy snowfall around the country over the past couple of days, but the threat of power outages still remains.
The weather system, bringing some of the heaviest snow seen in Greece in years, exposed a personnel shortage at distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO, whose medium and low-voltage networks suffered extensive damages caused by collapsing trees.
The operator’s personnel have struggled to cope with the challenge of repairing numerous damaged transmission lines. Approximately 1,000 trees reportedly collapsed onto power lines in Athens, causing power cuts at thousands of homes in the city’s north and east.
Between 500 and 600 experienced technical staff members have left IPTO over the past three years without being replaced, which has left the operator vulnerable to extreme conditions, union members have pointed out.
IPTO crews are currently working around the clock to meet repair demands, while 60 of the company’s technicians stationed in other parts of Greece have been brought into Athens to reinforce crews covering the capital.
Energy minister Kostas Skrekas yesterday visited power grid operator IPTO’s national control center where he was updated on the transmission system’s current situation, electricity generation levels, as well as the operator’s projections for the next few days.
“So far, the transmission system has responded well to the challenges of the Medea storm front,” IPTO’s chief executive Manos Manousakis informed the minister. “But the duration of the extreme weather conditions carries dangers,” he added.