IPTO to conduct new study on grid’s capacity requirements

IPTO, Greece’s power grid operator, is planning to conduct an extensive study that will examine all new data concerning the grid’s capacity requirements over the next few years, including whether new production units will need to be constructed. The study is considered necessary to clear up conflicting information provided by previous studies on the grid’s requirements.

In January, 2014, IPTO, locally acronymed ADMIE, released the findings of a study highlighting grid issues that would need to be confronted in the short term. The study also pointed out new dangers concerning the electricity supply’s stability and reliability. It concluded that, by 2018, the country’s grid would once again face serious capacity issues, which would require electricity imports during peak hours.

Another study conducted by the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E), whose findings were released a few months later, in April, 2014, noted that the country would face a capacity shortage even earlier, by 2016. This study also rejected a notion claiming Greece’s electricity capacity was more than adequate as a result of subdued consumption amid the recession.

Greece’s total installed capacity, or the sum of capacities at lignite-fired stations, petrol and gas-fueled PPC (main power utility) stations, as well as independent units, amounts to 17,400 MW. Of this total, between 10,000 and 11,000 MW are readily available, according to the ENTSO-E study, if units undergoing maintenance work, RES facilities, as well as hydropower and other units sidelined by technical problems are not included.

The ENTSO-E study found that the natural-gas fueled power stations are the most flexible of all the aforementioned. It noted that five such independent units with a total capacity of 2,000 MW were added to the system over the past five years. These investments were worth a total of 1.5 billion euros.