Power grid operator IPTO is taking initiatives to upgrade Greece’s interconnections with neighboring countries, acknowledging transboundary grid link insufficiencies are having a negative impact whose consequences include market functional disorders and higher electricity prices.
The operator has formed working groups with all of Greece’s neighboring countries to examine the prospect of constructing or reinforcing existing interconnections.
These associations include cooperation with Italian operator Terna. The two sides, prepared to consider both an upgrade of the existing system or the development of a new one, estimate that the Greek-Italian grid interconnection requires a capacity increase of between 500 and 1,000 MW.
According to sources, IPTO and Terna have agreed to proceed with related studies for an optimal solution as soon as possible. The operators intend to reach a decision within the next few months. Any selection will need to be approved by the Greek and Italian regulatory authorities of energy.
IPTO intends to include this project in its ten-year development plan covering 2022 to 2031, expected to be presented at the end of the year.
The existing Greek-Italian electricity grid interconnection, a 163km subsea cable with a 500-MW capacity in operation since 2002, will be used to facilitate the target model’s next stage, market coupling, beginning on December 15 with the aim of harmonizing the energy markets of the two countries.
ENTSO-E, the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity, has pointed out that a Greek-Italian grid interconnection boost will be needed for an effective bridging of prices between the two countries.