Imports, lignite, technical issue avoidance key to grid stability

The role of electricity imports, mobilization of power utility PPC lignite-fired power stations that have been sidelined for months, such as Megalopoli III, and unexpected technical failures at grid infrastructure and power stations are three key factors that will determine the performance of the country’s grid over the next few days, during which the ongoing heatwave conditions are forecast to peak and reach temperatures of as high as 45 degrees Celsius.

Power grid operator IPTO has already asked PPC to mobilize the Megalopoli III power station, a 250-MW unit headed for withdrawal and out of action over the past nine months as a result of grid saturation at the network in the Peloponnese.

But the extreme electricity demand has forced this unit’s return, highlighting the grid’s continuing dependence on lignite-fired generation during times of extreme need.

Over the past few days, lignite-based electricity has represented 16 percent of the country’s overall generation.

As for electricity imports, Greece, ideally, will need to import a few hundred MW from North Macedonia, Bulgaria and Turkey. The import potential from these sources is limited to between 1,400 and 1,500 MW annually.

A new interconnection to link Nea Santa, northeastern Greece, with Bulgaria’s Maritsa area in the country’s south, designed to double the grid interconnection capacity between the two countries, will not be ready before mid-2022.

The demand response system, compensating industrial consumers when the TSO (IPTO) asks them to shift their energy usage (lower or stop consumption) during high-demand hours, so as to balance the electricity system’s needs, is another tool that could be activated to save and re-channel approximately 1,000 MW.

PPC to offer customers emergency technical support

Power utility PPC is preparing to offer household customers an emergency technical support package, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, through an agreement with an insurance company.

The power utility has already announced a related tender for this insurance package. It will be offered to selected PPC customers. PPC plans to sign a two-year agreement with the winning insurance company bidder.

Eligible PPC customers will be able to register for the technical support package by calling the insurance company’s call center.

Insurance policies will be established between PPC customers and the insurance company to be selected by PPC for this offer.

PPC will not hold any financial or legal responsibilities for the technicians to be used for this program. Its required services will all be outsourced.

Insurance policies linked to this PPC offer will need to be paid on a monthly basis.