HEDNO summoned to explain island wind energy cutbacks

HEDNO, the Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator, has been summoned by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, to offer explanations for its unsolicited wind energy output cutbacks on the islands.

Investors operating wind farms on the non-interconencted islands filed a series of complaints, prompting RAE to take action.

According to sources, an initial examination conducted by RAE officials justifies the concerns expressed by RES investors. HEDNO officials may need to attend a follow-up hearing once RAE has further examined the situation.

The problem is made worse by the fact that HEDNO does not maintain offices with its own representatives on most of the islands. Instead, its tasks are managed by main power utility PPC employees stationed at power stations on the islands. This means that decisions as to whether wind energy output will be chanelled into local electricity networks are taken by PPC employees, representing a rival company.

Considerable and unjustified wind energy output cutbacks on the non-interconnected islands have been repeatedly reported by wind energy farm investors in the past, as energypress has reported.

Wind energy producers contend these unsolicited cutbacks of output are made without any notice. According to these RES investors, HEDNO, or the local PPC staff, regularly impose cutbacks during times of increased wind energy output and, on the contrary, allow full production once strong winds have subsided.

Wind energy producers argue that such production cutback practices downgrade their investments as they limit the revenue potential of their units. The producers have also stressed that a transparent formula is lacking.

In comments to energypress, wind energy investors suspect that these cutbacks are performed deliberately to benefit PPC, which generates electricity by operating high-cost diesel and mazut-fueled stations on the non-interconnected islands. Ultimately, public service compensation (YKO) surcharges – added to electricity bills and whose role includes funding PPC’s costly electricity generation on the non-interconnected islands – end up being inflated, according to wind energy investors.

HEDNO supports that such output cutbacks are necessary when conditions of network instability are identified.