Grid facing overload challenge this Greek Easter Sunday

A drop in electricity demand forecast for this coming Greek Easter Sunday, combined with high renewable energy contribution to the energy mix, could prove to be a major test for the country’s grid, as was the case on March 26, when such a combination forced the power grid operator IPTO to cut back on RES production over extended periods in order to protect the grid from voltage overloads as demand plunged to just over 500 MWh for an hour.

Ioannis Margaris, Deputy Chairman at IPTO, highlighted the danger at the recent Power & Gas Forum in Athens, noting the grid is operating on edge and will be tested during the Greek Easter break.

In its weekly outlooks, IPTO had recently forecast a load of 4,390 MW and demand of 1,330 on March 26 at 2pm, before actual demand ended up reaching just over 500 MW.

For this coming Easter Sunday, IPTO has forecast loads of as low as 3,750 MW during the midday hours, meaning the operator is expecting another challenge that could be even trickier than the recent encounter. A day earlier, on Easter Saturday, IPTO has forecast a higher load of 4,800 MW for the midday hours.

To combat the grid-overcharge threat, IPTO plans to orchestrate a highly complex combination of moves that will include restricting electricity imports, deactivating as many generation units as possible and significantly cutting RES input.