Operator on standby to restart old power stations on Cyclades

Authorities taking part in a national energy control center emergency meeting yesterday placed the Cyclades islands on red alert as electricity supply to the region was threatened by an extensive fire that broke out in Varybobi, north of Athens.

Power supply to Syros, Paros, Naxos, Mykonos, Tinos and Andros was pressured by the Varybobi fire as these islands are linked to the mainland grid via a subsea cable beginning from coastal Lavrio, southeast of Athens.

The Varybobi fire burnt late into the night but is now reported to have been brought under control by firefighters as four of five fronts have been extinguished. At least 80 houses are reported to have been burnt in the fire. No human casualties have been reported.

The fire-related collapse of two of three key power lines brought the Cyclades, as well as Athens, to the brink of an extensive power outage. Tourism activity is currently high in the Cyclades.

Officials at yesterday’s national energy control center emergency meeting decided to send distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO technicians out to Syros, Paros, Mykonos and Andros, ordering them to restart local diesel-fired power units if supply from Athens is cut.

These units have been sidelined as a result of the subsea cable connections developed to link the islands with the mainland grid.

Late in June, RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, taking into account the extreme weather conditions, grid pressure, as well as the large number of tourists on the islands, had approved a DEDDIE/HEDNO application for the installation of a generator on Santorini for additional generation in case the existing facility on the island falls short of electricity demand. DEDDIE/HEDNO had estimated a possible 8-MW deficit.