Crete interconnection projects included in IPTO’s grid study

IPTO, the power grid operator, a subsidiary firm of main power utility PPC, has submitted its new Transmission System Operational Study to RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, for approval.

The study includes proposals for two interconnection projects to link Crete with the mainland – a smaller-scale project and the main project, which promises to facilitate the utilization of Crete’s major renewable energy (RES) potential.

PPC’s CEO Manolis Panagiotakis, speaking recently at a regional event in Crete, stressed that development of both the initial small-scale interconnection and the larger interconnection project are necessary in terms of the economic and energy-related benefits to be offered.

Officials representing SEV, the Hellenic Association of Industrialists, HAIPP, the Hellenic Association of Independent Power Producers – locally acronymed ESAI – and EVIKEN, the Association of Industrial Energy Consumers, along with PPC, offered their unanimous support for IPTO’s interconnection projects on Crete.

PPC’s general production manager Yiannis Kopanakis, who also spoke at the Cretan event, noted that the existing local power facilities on the island will eventually need to be withdrawn for environmental reasons as they do not meet emissions criteria.

Kopanakis informed that PPC has planned upgrades that will extend the lives of the Cretan electricity production facilities until 2025, the latest. In the lead-up, the interconnection projects will need to be developed and solve Crete’s environmental and high-cost electricity production problems, he stressed.

Three mazut and diesel-fueled stations operate on Crete. The expense of running them is covered by electricity consumers nationwide, through Public Service Compensation (YKO) surcharges on power bills, whose total annual cost reaches roughly 800 million euros.

The small-scale interconnection plan entails power supply of 150 MW to Crete. It will lead to Public Service Compensation savings of 90 million euros per year, meaning the cost of the intermediate plan, expected to reach between 180 million and 190 million euros, will be covered in two-and-a-half to three years. The large-scale interconnection will enable the country’s grid to benefit from Crete’s enormous RES production potential.