The government is preparing fast-track procedures for the installation of electricity production facilities on Crete by 2020, needed to avoid an energy shortage following an EU-required withdrawal of old units at the end of 2019.
Installations of wind turbines as well as power generators that may be hired or transferred from Rhodes are among the solutions being considered by authorities to ensure the island’s energy sufficiency.
Building permit demands are expected to be omitted to make the fast-track procedures as swift as possible.
The plan’s new electricity generation solutions will be crucial until the completion of a small-scale grid interconnection linking Crete with the Peloponnese, expected during 2020. Even then, Crete will still face a 200-MW capacity deficit until a major-scale grid interconnection, linking Crete with Athens, is completed in 2022.
Three old, high-polluting units with a total capacity of 728 MW will need to stop operating on Crete as a result of strict EU environmental regulations, Miguel Arias Canete, the European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, has made clear to the Greek government.
Electricity demand on Crete, one of the country’s biggest tourism destinations, currently stands at 630 MW and is expected to exceed 700 MW in 2020.
Renewable energy output, electricity imports and the main power utility PPC’s lignite-fired Amynteo power station, still operating despite the expiration of a European Commission time limit, are all proving crucial for the system’s sufficiency amid the high demand prompted by freezing weather conditions around Greece over the past few days.
All available energy sources are being resorted to in an effort to cover the elevated demand. Hydropower output, electricity imports and RES production are providing vital energy injections during peak hours, which once again, once again highlighting the fact that the Greek system is stretched to its limits under such conditions.
The situation validates a recent IPTO power grid operator study noting grid sufficiency is presently not achievable without grid contributions from PPC’s Amynteo unit as well as the power utility’s Kardia facility, headed for closure.
Virtually all the country’s thermal power stations will be operating to meet a demand peak of 9,024 MW at 1pm today, according to the energy exchange’s day-ahead market figures. State-controlled PPC’s Agios Dimitrios IV and V, the Kardia unit, two Megalopoli units, two Amynteo units, Meliti, as well as private-sector gas-fired power stations operated by Heron, Enthes, Thisvi, Protergia and Korinthos Power will all be called into action.
Even so, 1,914 MW in RES production, 44 MW in net imports as well as 140 MW of hydropower production will also be needed to meet demand.
The System Marginal Price (SMP), or wholesale electricity price, is set to reach 82.52 euros per MWh during peak demand.