New meeting called for Crete power solution ahead of crucial 2020

Striving for a solution to prevent the threat of power supply shortages on Crete in the summer of 2020, RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, has summoned all parties involved in the island’s interconnection project to a new meeting, the aim being to establish an action plan within June.

The delivery of related capacity studies, covering 2020 to 2022, now being prepared by IPTO, the power grid operator, and DEDDIE/HEDNO, the Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator, is vital to the process. However, according to sources, more work is needed before these studies are completed.

These studies, to highlight the needs of the Cretan grid, will also determine the feasibility of solutions already proposed.

The main power utility PPC, chiefly responsible for delivering a solution, has informed it cannot forward any proposals without the finalized IPTO and DEDDIE/HEDNO studies.

RAE continues to regard as an uncertain prospect the completion and launch of Crete’s small-scale interconnection with the Peloponnese by mid-2020, as has been officially scheduled by IPTO. The authority believes 2021 is a more likely date.

Such a delay would prompt a severe electricity supply shortage on Crete in 2020, especially during the high-demand summer season.

An exemption to EU law concerning power station emission limits for local high-polluting units, such as those operating on Crete, is set to expire in December, 2019.

Crete’s currently independent grid will need to be downsized when this exemption to the EU law expires. Some power stations on the island will need to be shut down permanently. PPC estimates these inevitable closures represent 42 MW. Other units will be able to continue operating if environmental upgrades are made, but, even so, will face operating restrictions. This category of units is believed to represent a total capacity of 98 MW.

Electricity consumption on Crete, Greece’s largest island, is growing at a rate of 4 percent per year.