Power grid operator IPTO has taken a major step in resolving Crete’s energy sufficiency threat feared as of 2020 by signing contracts with four companies, Fulgor, Hellenic Cables, Prysmian Powerlink and Terna, for the development of Crete’s grid interconnection with the Peloponnese.
Energy minister Giorgos Stathakis, who attended the signing ceremony in Kissamos, northwest Crete, described the island’s interconnection project as a historic step that paves the way for Crete’s transformation into a green energy island of minimal environmental impact, while also ensuring energy security and growth prospects for the island.
A European Commission extension for diesel-fired power stations operated on the island by the main power utility PPC expires at the end of 2019.
Ending Crete’s energy isolation by linking the island with the mainland’s grid has been discussed since the 80s, when the required technology and means were not yet available, Stathakis noted, adding conditions have now changed and led to an acceleration of grid interconnections.
The Crete-Peloponnese grid link, expected to be completed in 2020, represents the first step of a wider link, from Crete to Athens, planned to be completed in 2022.
Elsewhere, the first of three grid interconnection stages in the Cyclades has been completed while the other two are said to be making swift progress.