PPC’s new image a prelude to revised business plan, imminent

Retail outlets to open for extended business hours, digital products and new services, swifter withdrawals of lignite-fired power stations, as well as an acceleration in the development of major-scale and smaller RES projects are among the factors contributing to power utility PPC’s new corporate image, showcased yesterday, during a 40-minute event, by chief executive Giorgos Stassis, who described the new image as a prelude to a revised business plan to be presented towards the end of the year.

The revised business plan, to have a three-year duration, will be a more ambitious and confident plan than last year’s version as, besides swifter lignite unit exits, it will feature bolder digitalization steps, a more aggressive retail market policy, aim for a RES portfolio well over 1 GW over the next three years, through a pool of prospective projects totaling 6 GW, and also feature network and personnel investments.

Next year, the company will aim to double 24 existing retail outlets – they begin operating for extended business hours as of today – as well as 75 service centers that may be visited by appointment only.

Yesterday’s announcements represent just part of the developments to be gradually announced by PPC, the most imminent being a new series of digital products, dubbed PPC myHome, to be launched within the next few days.

The new business plan’s level of ambition will also depend on external factors, Brussels being pivotal. Settlement of the country’s ten-year lignite dispute with the European Commission will offer state-controlled PPC greater leeway.

PPC is also hoping for a favorable Brussels response within November on a compensation request for 200 million euros, annually, for every year lignite-fired power stations in the west Macedonia and Megalopoli regions will need to keep operating.

Southeast Europe network coordination center working on launch

The Southeast Electricity Network Coordination Center (SEleNe CC), established in Thessaloniki to support regional network security in southeast Europe, is currently recruiting personnel and installing technical equipment required for its operations.

All necessary equipment is expected to be installed at the center’s Thessaloniki headquarters by the end of September, energypress sources have informed. The objective is to have prepared the center as a fully operational unit by the end of the year.

The new regional center was established following years of efforts by the power grid operators of Greece (IPTO), Italy (TERNA SpA), Romania (Transelectrica), and Bulgaria (ESO-EAD), each holding equal shares.

It is managed by a four-member board comprising Ioannis Kabouris (IPTO), the chief executive, and three members, Angelin Tsachev (ESO-EAD), Enrico Maria Carlini (TERNA SpA), and Adrian Suta (Transelectrica).

The coupling of respective markets, expected soon, will represent a next step in the region’s harmonization and incorporation into Europe’s unified electricity market, promising major benefits for consumers, Kabouris, the chief executive, has noted.

IPTO launches tender for Athens area substation upgrade

Power grid operator IPTO has announced a tender for the reconstruction and modernization of the 400-kV Koumoundourou substation serving the wider Athens area, a project budgeted at 46 million euros (57 million euros including VAT).

This facility was constructed in the 1970s, along with four other units, to transmit electricity to the wider Athens area.

The Koumoundourou substation upgrade, one of the projects included in the so-called Eastern Corridor, is expected to be completed in 2024. This corridor also includes the Megalopoli and Corinthos substations, both undergoing upgrades at present.

Interested parties face an August 10 deadline to submit their offers to IPTO, expecting turn-key, ready-to-use delivery.

Ministry, responding to Syriza MPs, lists reasons for further sale of IPTO

A government decision to further privatize power grid operator IPTO is linked to the EU’s objective for carbon neutrality by 2050 as well as a national decarbonization target by 2028, efforts requiring big investments for greater emphasis on new and innovative technologies and systems; an upgrade of existing networks as smart networks; as well as the development of new business models, the energy ministry has noted in response to recent questioning, in Greek Parliament, by MPs of the main opposition leftist Syriza party.

Also, swift development of electricity transmission networks promises to significantly contribute to a speedy recovery of the pandemic-hit national economy, the ministry noted.

In addition, the sale of an additional stake in IPTO is a pre-election pledge made by the New Democracy party, the ministry response reminded. ND was elected into power one year ago.

IPTO’s initial privatization, shaped and carried out by the previous Syriza government, is unusual as the Greek State may have maintained a majority 51 percent stake but its powers for strategic decision-making are limited and require the approval of the minority partner, China’s SGCC, holding a 24 percent stake, the energy ministry pointed out.

SGCC has been given the right to block strategic decisions at IPTO and priority rights in any further privatization of the power grid operator.

PPC ups Megalopoli V output to full capacity of 811 MW

Power utility PPC’s Megalopoli V power station in the Peloponnese has, for the first time,  begun operating at a full-capacity level of 811 MW following five years of production well below full potential, a restriction whose cost the utility has estimated at 200 million euros.

Power grid operator IPTO yesterday gave PPC the green light for full-scale production at Megalopoli V after an extended period of pressure applied by the power utility.

In the lead-up, PPC was forced to operate its Megalopoli V facility at 60 percent of its full capacity, 500 MW, following instructions from IPTO, noting the Peloponnese region’s existing network could not carry a greater amount.

Trial runs at Megalopoli V, a natural gas-fired combined-cycle unit, began in April, 2015 but PPC had never been given permission to boost generation at this power plant by 311 MW to reach full capacity.

Meanwhile, PPC’s Megalopoli III and IV units, both lignite-fired, were either shut or operated well below full capacity as a result of hefty CO2 emission right costs.

A swifter full-scale launch of Megalopoli V would have enabled the power utility to completely switch off the engines at loss-incurring Megalopoli III, a 250-MW unit, PPC has noted.

PPC picks Goldman Sachs as consultant for DEDDIE sale

The board at power utility PPC has reached a decision to hire US financial services company Goldman Sachs as privatization consultant for the sale of a 49 percent stake in distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO, a subsidiary, sources have informed.

This appointment is seen as the first step in preparations leading to the partial privatization, while the choice of a heavyweight consultant reflects the importance of the sale for both the government and state-controlled PPC.

The prospective entry of an investor with a 49 stake raises hopes for a major network upgrade, including digitization. Modernized infrastructure will help intensify competition in the domestic electricity market. However, enormous sums are needed.  A project entailing the installation of smart meters, alone, is budgeted at one billion euros.

European operators as well as foreign funds investing in energy networks and infrastructure expressed strong interest in DEDDIE prior to the outbreak of the coronavirus crisis.

The operator’s regulated earnings and steady yield serve as a safe and profitable haven for capital investment, while DEDDIE’s tremendous asset base expansion potential adds to the appeal for investors.

RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, and DEDDIE are currently working together to further modernize the operator’s regulatory framework.

Also, DEDDIE is currently finalizing a new business plan, covering 2020 to 2028. It envisions a gradual increase of annual investments to 350 million euros, more-than-double the current level of 150 million euros.

 

DEDDIE investments boosted to reach €350m, annually

Distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO’s investment amounts concerning its business plan from 2020 to 2028 will be gradually boosted to reach annual levels of 300-350 million euros, up from 150-170 million euros, the operator has decided.

DEDDIE chief executive Anastassios Manos has presented the operator’s upgraded investment plan to board members.

It incorporates and fine tunes the distribution network strategy included in the business plan for power utility PPC, the operator’s parent company.

The upgraded DEDDIE business plan will be finalized once RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, has cemented its regulatory framework.

DEDDIE’s investments have continuously dwindled in recent years.  Contrary to other EU operators, the company’s Regulatory Asset Base (RAB) value has subsequently diminished during this period of contraction as new investments each year have been outweighed by the depreciation levels of previous projects.

The operator’s new investments will focus on upgrading and expanding the network to facilitate the RES sector’s growing needs and broadened network presence, as well as ambitious electric vehicle targets.

The overall upgrade will include network digitization projects for advanced grid management and smart meter installations.

IPTO network upgrades to facilitate RES projects

Power grid operator IPTO has planned upgrades for overloaded 150-kV networks, needed to facilitate new RES project connections in various mainland areas, where investment interest is high.

The upgrades, part of the operator’s ten-year development plan, promise to pave the way for new investments in the wind and solar energy park sectors.

The Peloponnese, Thrace, Kastoria, Florina, central Greece, Ionian islands of the south, Ioannina and northern Evia are among the areas experiencing 150-kv network overloads, the operator has noted. IPTO has planned upgrade projects for all these areas.

They included an interconnection to link the Megalopoli 400-kV network with the existing power grid of Acheloos River-Distomo, through Patras. This project is expected to be completed this year.

Greater transmission capacity is also planned for the Trizinia area, in the eastern Peloponnese. The upgrade, planned to be developed over the next three years, is expected to increase RES absorption capacity in the area to approximately 230 MW.

 

 

Small-scale PV investors must unite to skip network saturation obstacles

Energy authorities are working on resolving network access problems encountered by small-scale PV investors as a result of saturation issues and appear headed towards promoting joint applications by investors that would avoid distribution network operator restrictions.

Small-scale PV investors, because of their limited size, are currently forced to design solar energy parks for network access through distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO’s distribution network, not transmission networks controlled by IPTO, whose transmission networks, in most cases, are not saturated but demand higher capacities for connection eligibility.

The saturation problem of distribution networks concerns many parts of the country. In many cases, these saturated networks cannot be upgraded for capacity increases.

Some small-scale PV investors are already opting to team up and avoid the distribution network limitations imposed by DEDDIE. However, reaching consensus for a joint plan can be challenging.

The energy ministry is currently engaged in talks with DEDDIE/HEDNO, IPTO and RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, officials, a leading ministry official has informed.

“We want to clear the way for interested parties currently being blocked by DEDDIE as a result of the saturated networks,” the energy ministry’s secretary-general Alexandra Sdoukou told a forum staged by SEF, the Hellenic Association of Photovoltaic Companies. “We’re thinking, for example, of bringing together many PV projects which, at present, cannot be connected to DEDDIE’s network as a result of saturation, for one united application to IPTO.”

DEDDIE preparing 10-year plan for longer-term approach

Distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO, headed for privatization, is preparing a new and ambitious 10-year business plan reflecting the lofty goals set of the National Energy and Climate Plan, energypress sources have informed.

The operator will seek a long-term WACC figure from RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, the body responsible for approving this constituent.

The operator’s multi-billion ten-year plan will include urgently needed  network upgrade projects, network expansions, digitization, as well as electric vehicle sector initiatives.

A favorable revision of the regulatory framework and the WACC level, set by RAE on an annual basis, will be a crucial factor for the operator’s plan. DEDDIE’s current WACC level is at 7 percent.

WACC level clarity over a ten-year period will be sought for the operator’s prospective new shareholders, as is the case with many other European network operators. This is crucial for planning and execution of projects.

Until now, DEDDIE’s business plans have had a five-year duration. The most recent of these, worth 1.37 billion euros, was approved by RAE just last November. However, the lofty demands of the new NECP require a longer-term approach.

The operator’s new business plan is expected to be ready for presentation in two months, the energypress sources informed.

 

 

Utility poles stock level too low, emergency orders needed

Distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO, dreading repercussions for the network as a result of any new round of adverse weather, is preparing to acquire thousands of wooden utility poles through emergency procedures rather than a competitive process.

The current stock level of 21,318 poles is below the required security level. A tender would be too time consuming.

Top-ranked officials at the energy ministry have advised the operator’s administration to negotiate with all sector companies, local and foreign, so that the lowest possible procurement prices may be achieved.

This wider approach is expected to help contain price levels, which, otherwise, could be pushed up by the situation’s need for immediate supply.

DEDDIE/HEDNO, a subsidiary of state-controlled power utility PPC, is preparing to hold direct talks with all interested suppliers.

Greek supply of wooden utility poles would not suffice to cover the national network’s needs as just a handful of local firms operate in this sector.

Over the years, international tenders have been held. Local bidders have usually emerged victorious and made up for stock deficits with orders from Ukraine, Finland and Sweden.

Sale of DEDDIE majority stake not necessary, officials believe

Power utility PPC’s administration and the energy ministry are having second thoughts as to whether the sale of a majority stake is necessary for electricity distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO, a subsidiary of PPC, given the improved results expected at the power utility over the next few years.

Government officials have been contemplating offering a majority stake, including managerial rights, in DEDDIE/HEDNO, but the privatization could end up offering investors a minority stake.

PPC’s EBITDA is expected to reach between 650 and 700 million euros in 2020 before rising to one billion euros by 2024.

This upward trajectory has prompted energy minister Costis Hatzidakis and PPC chief executive to reconsider the extent of the DEDDIE/HEDNO sale.

PPC’s plan for a gradual withdrawal of all its existing lignite-fired power stations by 2023, currently prompting damages estimated at between 200 and 300 million euros a year, as well as the utility’s planned bond issue, are two additional factors contributing to the reassessment of the DEDDIE/HEDNO sale.

The government and PPC want a partner for DEDDIE/HEDNO to help develop a costly modernization plan entailing the digitization of electricity networks.

NECP lacks detail on network upgrade for RES penetration, producers note

The new National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP), presented yesterday at an energy ministry event hosted by the Bank of Greece, is not clear enough on details concerning the development of networks and interconnections for further RES penetration, electricity producers have noted.

Network upgrades will be pivotal in the country’s effort to achieve RES targets concerning the replacement of conventional power stations with clean-energy units, producers have stressed.

More details on technical matters and scheduling for network upgrades are necessary, industry officials believe.

Giorgos Peristeris, the chief official at ESIAPE, the Greek Association of Renewable Energy Source Electricity Producers, and Dinos Benroubi, president of ESAI/HAIPP, the Hellenic Association of Independent Power Producers, both noted procedures concerning the development of electricity transmission projects, especially licensing, need to be accelerated.

Greece’s installed RES capacity in 2030 has been set at 15 GW, up from approximately 6 GW at present.

Power grid operator IPTO has repeatedly assured it is pushing ahead with studies assessing the needs of the grid based on the NECP’s ambitious RES targets, noting all required projects will be included in its ten-year investment plan covering 2021 to 2030.

IPTO possesses both the technical and financial requirements to develop projects needed, the operator’s administration has stressed.

Sale of regional HEDNO units tabled as third alternative

Government officials are now also looking at a third alternative for a prospective sale of distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO, this latest approach entailing a geographical division of the network followed by the privatization of some of the newly established companies to take on these regional networks, sources have informed.

The government is also looking at the possible sale of a minority stake of DEDDIE/HEDNO, the original plan, while, just days ago, news of a second, more aggressive procedure offering investors a majority stake of the operator, also emerged as a possibility.

The latest region-based proposal was brought forward by power utility PPC’s new chief executive Giorgos Stassis, the sources said. DEDDIE/HEDNO is a subsidiary of PPC.

This regional-based model reflects the systems of most European countries, where networks are managed by regional operators, not a single national operator.

In Germany, for example, a total of 896 network operators exist, just 75 of which control networks serving over 100,000 electricity consumers. Italy has 135 operators. Just two of these distribute electricity to over 100,000 consumers.

Greece, Cyprus and Ireland are Europe’s only countries with one or two distribution network operators.

Government officials are examining how swiftly a regional-based division and sale of DEDDIE/HEDNO units could progress.

The operator’s fixed assets are valued at 3.6 billion euros, according to an estimate provided by PPC’s previous administration.

DEDDIE/HEDNO faces an enormous investment program, including the installation of smart meters and telemetric systems, a projected budgeted at 1.5 billion euros. The operator, alone, cannot provide this amount.

Climate change impacting energy output of sources, networks

There has been much debate of late on the ability of Greece’s grid to operate up to standard amid extreme conditions, the talk prompted by last month’s deadly flash floods in the country’s northern region Halkidiki, as well as the current heatwave throughout the country.

Rising air and water temperatures impact both conventional and nuclear energy production, Europe’s biggest energy source, in a number of ways. Water temperatures need to be at optimal levels for nuclear stations to function properly. Operations at nuclear energy facilities in France have needed to be interrupted this year, as well as in the past, as a result of unsuitable water temperatures.

High air temperatures impact, for various reasons, the output levels of gas and fuel-fired power stations, renewable energy sources, as well as nuclear energy facilities, while coal and biomass units are less affected.

Natural gas-fired power station production levels drop by 0.1 percent for every one-degree Celsius increase in air temperature. The production drop is greater for nuclear units, reaching 0.5 percent. A further one-percent production drop is caused by every 5-degree Celsius increase in water temperature.

Hydropower facilities are affected as a result of greater evaporation and lower water levels.

Solar energy systems also produce less amid extremely hot temperatures, the drop estimated at between 0.4 and 0.5 percent for every one degree Celsius increase in temperature, according to an older study.

Though alternative sources are brought into action to ensure energy sufficiency when certain electricity production units are under-performing, networks, also susceptible to heatwaves, do not have such flexibility.

Higher temperatures affect the production levels of transformers and cables,  overland and underground. Network yield losses increase by one percent for every three-degree Celsius rise in temperature. The increased threat of fires, as was experienced in the worst possible way in California last year, only makes matters worse.

Energy system adjustments are urgently needed in various parts of the world, including Greece, as grids were shaped under certain assumptions and factors that reflect past conditions, not more recent developments, namely global warming and climate change.

Over the past decade or so, certain countries, including France, have made energy system revisions and implemented these changes. However, the speed at which the climate has destabilized may require follow-up revisions.

 

 

DEDDIE to recover €115m network revenue shortfall, authority notes

Distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO’s expected revenues for the past few years have fallen short of forecasts by an accumulated amount of 115 million euros as a result of subdued electricity demand amid the Greek recession, authorities have noted.

Given the fact that operators cannot suffer losses of regulated amounts, this 115 million-euro amount shortfall will need to be recovered by DEDDIE through network tariffs to be set by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, for the next few years.

The tariff’s implementation will be spread over time to avoid overburdening consumers, sources informed.

DEDDIE’s robust financial standing is essential for the electricity network’s operation, development and maintenance.

The operator’s role is also of pivotal importance for the country’s energy transition, placing emphasis on renewable energy and decentralized production, explained RAE official Nektaria Karakatsani.

New minister set to present PPC recovery plan details

Hydropower units belonging to the power utility PPC will not be sold; NOME auctions will be abandoned; and electricity costs for consumers will not rise, the newly appointed energy minister Costis Hatzidakis is expected to announce later today when the New Democracy party presents its wider  policy program.

The minister is also expected to present details of a plan to seek strategic investment into distribution network DEDDIE once control of the network is transferred from PPC to the subsidiary with the permission of creditor banks.

Prime Minister-elect Kyriakos Mitsotakis is expected to make a general announcement on this network sale plan before his energy minister follows up with further details. The procedure will offer full protection for PPC’s interests, including compensation for the sale, the government officials are expected to stress.

The minister’s plan for an end of NOME auctions, launched about three years ago to offer independent parties access to the power utility’s lower-priced lignite and hydropower sources, was approved by the country’s lenders last week at a meeting between the two sides in Athens.

A transition plan leading to the launch of the target model, to offer market coupling, or harmonization of EU wholesale markets, is expected to be reached between the minister and the lenders when they next return to Athens for official talks in September. The transition plan will be designed to ensure that supply markets remain fully operational ahead of the target model’s launch.

The energy minister’s promise of no electricity cost increases for consumers will be accompanied by details of the state-controlled power utility’s more ruthless handling of unpaid receivables owed by consumers believed to be able, even affluent, but unwilling to cover their power bill debts. PPC is under financial pressure.

The government intends to reshape PPC along the lines of the transformation of telecommunications company OTE, a corporation in which the Greek State now holds just 5 percent, Deutsche Telekom being the main shareholder with a 45 percent stake.

Besides preventing a systemic crisis posed by PPC’s current financial woes, a rebound by the power utility would also send out a positive message for the Greek market to domestic and foreign institutional investors.

 

 

 

Grid on edge, new energy ministry notes, fearing blackouts

The newly elected conservative New Democracy government’s energy ministry fears repeats of recent blackouts experienced in Athens and Crete’s Lasithi region, in the event of protracted heatwaves, contending the grid’s powers are insufficient.

The new energy minister Costis Hatzidakis is taking every opportunity to warn that the country’s grid would find itself under severe pressure should weather conditions hit extreme situations for extended periods. Blackouts are the worst nightmare for any newly appointed energy minister.

“The grid has reached its limits,” Hatzidakis told local media over the weekend.

The system has faced additional pressure over the past few days as a result of severe storms in Halkidiki, northern Greece, which killed 7 persons.

HEDNO/DEDDIE, the operator managing the mainland’s distribution network, has decreased its investments by 39 percent over the past three years.

The operator is also believed to be severely understaffed, in terms of technical personnel, and short of spare parts needed for the grid’s security. These factors have contributed to delays in repair work, new connections and required upgrades of old infrastructure.

 

New power demand record set yesterday, forecast exceeded

A new winter season electricity consumption record was set by the grid yesterday, exceeding levels reached during the energy crisis in the winter of 2017.

Power grid operator IPTO’s forecast of 178,000 MWh for yesterday ended up reaching 185,000 MWh, setting a new record for one day’s demand during the winter.

IPTO’s miscalculation prompted lower day-ahead market levels and a lower System Marginal Price (SMP) of 75.70 euros per MWh. This wholesale price level would probably have been higher had the operator’s electricity demand forecasts been more accurate.

The operator’s miscalculation has been attributed to a misjudgement of the impact on electricity demand of the return to normal work and production schedules following the festive season.

The winter weather conditions were milder yesterday compared to Tuesday but the return to full-scale operations at most schools, businesses and industrial enterprises was underestimated. January 6, Epiphany (Theofania), is a public holiday in Greece.

IPTO had forecast a demand level of 7,770 MW for midday yesterday but the actual level reached 8,996 MW. The forecast for 1 pm was 7,750 MW but ended up reaching 8,936 MW, while the forecast for 2 pm, 7,670 MW, was also less than the resulting 8,904 MW figure.

The additional electricity amounts needed by the grid prompted greater distribution difficulties. Solar energy output was diminished due to the weather conditions but wind energy levels were up for a number of hours.

All available thermal and hydropower facilities needed to be called into action, while industrial enterprises were placed on stand by for implementation of the demand response mechanism if the pressure on the grid worsened. This alert ended up not being triggered as temperatures registered sharp rises of more than five degrees Celsius between 11 am and 1 pm.

 

Local resistance against substation ‘to blame for power issues on Tinos’

Local resistance by islanders that ended up blocking the installation of a new electrical substation on Tinos is the reason behind functional issues at the island’s desalination facilities late last summer, DEDDIE/HEDNO, the Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator, has responded to extrajudicial action taken by the Tinos municipality following frequent voltage fluctuations.

The functional issues at the desalination facilities impacted water supply on Tinos.

The design and maintenance standards of the island’s mid-voltage power supply lines are based on Greek and international specifications, DEDDIE/HEDNO noted in its response to the Tinos municipality’s extrajudicial action.

The operator explained that extreme weather conditions experienced on the island in late August, a factor whose effects on electricity grids can never be ruled out, impacted mid-voltage supply.

Realizing Tinos needed a power grid revamp prior to the summer’s voltage fluctuations and consequent issues, DEDDIE/HEDNO as well as IPTO, the Greek power grid operator, had scheduled the development of a new substation with a high-to-medium voltage transformer, which would have significantly improved the quality of power supply on Tinos. However, plans for a new substation were thwarted by legal action taken by islanders.

Greek power supply service improving, still behind top EU performers

A report assessing the overall quality of Europe’s power grids and related services ranked Greece 10th for 2016 in terms of the number of planned and unplanned electricity supply cuts, which represents an improvement compared to previous years.

The countries listed above Greece in the planned and unplanned frequency of power cuts category were Slovenia, Malta, Romania, Croatia, Latvia, Ireland, Lithuania, Poland and the Czech Republic.

Greece was listed among nine of 26 EU member states not resorting to incentives and penalties for operators in terms of damage category, frequency and repair time.

On the contrary, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, the UK, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden were listed as the countries offering incentives to operators.

Incentives and penalties offered vary from country to country. Most countries do not apply any supply continuity plan at present, while Greece, along with Austria, Luxembourg and Romania, do not plan to do so.

Greece is also missing from the list of EU member states conducting power supply quality inspections.

Certain countries, including the Netherlands, offer consumers compensation amounts that are determined by the duration of unexpected power supply cuts. According to the Dutch compensation system, limited supply cut periods are permitted, but consumers are entitled to compensation for durations exceeding these limits. Other countries, such as Estonia and Romania, go a step further and even compensate preplanned power supply cuts.

Regulations in Greece limit power supply cut compensation to mid-voltage consumers if interruptions exceed 12 hours. Compensation amounts of 120 euros are automatically awarded to consumers in such cases.

 

Development of smart digital grid a key strategy at HEDNO, chief tells

The country’s electricity distribution network, to be modernized, will play a key role in the transformation and successful changes taking place, on all levels, in the local electricity market, Nikos Hatziargyriou, the head official at HEDNO/DEDDIE, the Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator, noted in an interview for local business news channel SBC’s Energy Week show, hosted by energypress journalist Thodoris Panagoulis.

The official, who offered an analysis of the operator’s plans during the interview, explained that electricity markets in Europe and around the world are undergoing drastic changes as a result of climate change, development of dispersed energy sources, such as small-scale solar facilities, as well as moves being made to transform consumers into market players. The distribution network is a vital factor for all these developments, Hatziargyriou stressed.

The Greek electricity market faces additional changes as new suppliers entering the market are seeking to increase their market shares, while small production units are growing in numbers, all of which will rely on the distribution network, the official noted.

HEDNO/DEDDIE plans to modernize the country’s distribution into a high-tech smart grid in order to cater to all these changes and new technologies, Hatziargyriou said.

The digitization of networks represents a major challenge for all operators, the official highlighted, adding that HEDNO/DEDDIE’s new strategic plan is comprised of 12 specific projects intended to upgrade the network by offering improved control, more effective monitoring, automated systems and, ultimately, better customer services.