Intermediate plan for Crete’s interconnection proposed

A plan by IPTO, the power grid operator, for Crete’s submarine interconnection with the country’s grid is nearing completion. The prospective project acquires even greater importance considering the wider geopolitical developments and yesterday’s agreement between Greece, Cyprus, and Israel for the construction of the Eurasia Interconnector, to carry electricity.

The IPTO plan’s latest version for the Crete interconnection project proposes the installation of a 700 MW connection from the wider Athens region.

However, the new plan also proposes an intermediate solution for a swift solution to the cost-related problems caused by Crete’s isolated high-cost electricity generation. Three mazut and diesel-fueled stations operate on the island. The expense of running them is covered by electricity consumers nationwide, through Public Service Compensation (YKO) surcharges on power bills, whose total annual cost reaches roughly 800 million euros.

According to IPTO, the intermediate plan for Crete, intended to offer swift solutions, help bolster supply security and reliability to the island and reduce consumer costs, is not linked to the main Crete Interconector project.

The intermediate plan entails power supply of 150 MW to Crete. It will lead to Public Service Compensation savings of 90 million euros per year, meaning the cost of the intermediate plan, expected to reach between 180 million and 190 million euros, will be covered in two-and-a-half to three years.

The plan also promises to help renewable energy source (RES) producers further penetrate the Cretan market.

In an article published by local daily Kathimerini last Sunday, PPC’s general manager Yiannis Kopanakis and the power utility’s strategic planning director Dimitra Kroba both supported the intermediate solution for Crete. They proposed a submarine connection with a capacity of between 250 and 300 MW. Actualization of the project would offer multiple benefits for consumers and the economy, the two PPC officials noted.