RAE, angered by IPTO delay, set to reallocate Crete link

RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, is prepared to reallocate Greece’s island submarine interconnection projects, including Crete’s, to other contractors if IPTO, the power grid operator, is unable to make progress, the authority’s chief official has warned.

Nikos Boulaxis, the RAE president, speaking at Greek Parliament’s Committee on Institutions and Transparency, reiterated the delays caused by IPTO.

These delays are costing an annual amount of between 600 million and 800 million euros in public service compensation (YKO), a surcharge raised through electricity bills to primarily finance electricity generation on the non-interconected islands through high-cost fuel and mazut-fired local stations. The surcharge allows islanders to pay the same rate for electricity as mainland residents.

The public service compensation surcharge amount paid by consumers throughout Greece just for Crete, Greece’s largest island, is believed to amount to between 250 and 350 million euros. The amount varies depending on fuel prices.

Fuel traders supplying the main power utility PPC’s power units on Crete are benefitting from the lack of progress in the island’s interconnection project, whose budget is estimated at between one and 1.5 billion euros. This investment amount could be amortized in three to four years. Crete’s interconnection would also pave the way for major wind-energy park investments.

In its ten-year company plan, IPTO lists the island interconnection as a project scheduled for delivery at the end of 2024. However, RAE had initially set 2021 as its deadline.