RAE to push for Dodecanese, north Aegean interconnections

RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, intends to push hard for the development of submarine interconnections linking the islands of the Dodecanese and north Aegean with the mainland. Completion of these endeavors would offer electricity network links between the country’s mainland and virtually all of the islands as plans are already in progress for interconnections concerning the Cyclades and Crete.

Though not widely known, RAE, through a law ratified last August, has been given both the authority and responsibility to determine the best possible means of electrification for the Greek islands. The authority also has the right to revoke licenses issued for diesel-fueled power stations, costly electricity generation means, operating on islands if it deems interconnection projects may be developed. This would put the pressure on IPTO, the power grid operator, to act swiftly. RAE also has the right to commission the development of projects to others if IPTO is unable to do so. IPTO would then be obligated to operate these projects once completed.

RAE is expected to deliver a list detailing all moves needed for optimal electricity supply to the islands by the end of this year.

Officials at RAE have told energypress the authority is determined to use its powers to ensure that all needed interconnection projects are developed swiftly.

Older data and studies examined by RAE indicate that approximately 80 percent of electricity consumption on the Greek islands can be provided through mainland interconnections. Apart from some of the smaller islands, for which such projects would not be feasible, interconnections for all other islands would offer benefits, including the reduction of public service compensation (YKO) surchages. These are added to electricity bills to fund the costly island power units.

“Even now, at a time of relatively low oil prices, these interconnections are feasible, and would be even more sustainable should oil prices rise to levels of 90 and 100 dollars per barrel,” RAE chief Nikos Boulaxis recently told Greek parliament.

Priority should be given to the Dodecanese, to be interconnected with Crete or Athens, and north Aegean islands, RAE believes.

In comments yesterday, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said an agreement between the main power utility PPC and China’s SGCC (State Grid Corporation of China) for the latter’s acquisition of a 24 percent stake in IPTO, a PPC subsidiary, offers new prospects. SGCC’s leadership told Tsipras, on his recent visit to Beijing, the company is keen to further develop Greece’s electricity networks, including the island interconnections.