Dodecannese, all Cyclades interconnections proposed

The findings of a scientific committee assembled by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, in December, 2015, to study the possibilities and feasibility of electricity interconnections at the country’s non-interconnected islands, call for the inclusion of the remainder of Cyclades islands still not included in the authority’s development plan as well as the addition of the Dodecannese.

The scientific committee has now forwarded the majority of its findings to RAE.

It has proposed the construction of new natural gas-fueled power stations for the north Aegean islands as the most feasible option. Alternative interconnection options are also being examined.

RAE is striving to include on its ten-year energy system development plan all island interconnection projects deemed necessary, with binding time frames, within 2018.

Though largely unknown, legislation ratifed last August gives RAE the authority and responsibility to determine optimal electrification solutions for the islands. RAE also reserves the right to revoke licenses of old petrol-fueled power stations currently operating on islands as a means of pressuring IPTO, the power grid operator, to develop interconnection projects at these locations, if deemed feasible.

RAE also maintains the right to offer contracts for needed interconnection projects to other companies shoud IPTO not prepared to develop these. In this case, IPTO would then be obligated to operate these interconnections.

RAE president Nikos Boulaxis recently expressed confidence in the development prospects of the country’s needed interconnections. He cited political will and IPTO’s reinvigorated activity as factors behind his positive outlook. China’s SGCC recently became IPTO’s strategic partner with a 24 percent stake.

Even so, Boulaxis has warned RAE would be prepared to take action, including legal, to push ahead interconnection projects.

The development of island interconenctions would greatly reduce current Public Service Compensation (YKO) payments included on electricity bills to primarily subsidize high-cost electricity production on Greece’s non-interconnected islands.