IPTO, EuroAsia in advanced Crete interconnection talks

IPTO, the power grid operator, and the EuroAsia consortium, behind an ambitious project to link the Greek, Cypriot and Israeli grids, have reached an advanced stage in talks aiming to strike a deal for the co-development of the major-scale Cretan interconnection, to link the island with Athens.

A smaller-scale Cretan interconnection, running from Crete to the Peloponnese, has already been included in IPTO’s binding ten-year development plan covering 2018 to 2027 and received approval from RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy. Its completion date has been set for 2020.

The larger Cretan interconnection has been listed, by IPTO, as a project that could be completed by 2024. The EuroAsia consortium foresees its completion by 2020. A 2022 completion date is likely to be set if the two sides reach an agreement. This is deemed as a feasible target date as the project has already been classified as a Project of Common Interest (PCI), enabling EU funding.

RAE is applying pressure for the major-scale Cretan interconnection’s swifter development. The authority has given IPTO and EuroAsia until the end of April to complete their negotiations.

The revised ten-year plan will be a binding commitment, meaning that both IPTO and the EuroAsia consortium would face penalties for a delayed completion of the major-scale Cretan interconnection.

IPTO and the EuroAsia consortium have joined forces as part of an effort associate the Cretan interconnection with the grander Euroasia Interconnector, also on the EU’s PCI list.

The EuroAsia interconnection’s section linking Israel and Cyprus is expected to be completed by the end of 2019. Its Cyprus to Crete section is planned to be developed between this coming October until the end of 2022.