Preliminary procedures ahead of the development of an initial small-scale electricity interconnection project for Crete have been sped up with the aim of staging a tender for the project’s construction within the first quarter of 2017, officials at IPTO, Greece’s power grid operator, have noted.
The planned small-scale interconnection project for Crete, whose capacity is expected to be boosted later on, can be developed swiftly and help significantly reduce production costs on the island, the officials support. Also, the investment’s cost, not enormous, will be amortized over a short period of time, they added.
The deadline of a tender concerning the project’s environmental impact study expires tomorrow. Indicative of the fast-track procedures being pursued, the winning bidder will need to submit an environmental impact study to the environment and energy ministry within three months.
The most recent study conducted by IPTO on Crete’s small-scale electricity interconnection project showed that it could be launched within four years. Certain sources believe the time needed could be even less, meaning the project could be up and running prior to 2020.
Just days ago, the environment and energy ministry gave IPTO the green light to pursue the development of both the small and large-scale interconnection projecs for Crete. The large-scale project will enable renewable energy (RES) production units operating on the island, Greece’s largest, as well as other islands, to contribute their output to the mainland grid.
According to an IPTO study, Crete’s small-scale interconnection project is expected to cost between 180 million and 190 million euros. Submarine alternating current (AC) cables with a 150 KV capacity will be installed.
Once running, the project will offer major savings to consumers throughout the country. Electricity on Crete is produced by three high-cost, aging and inefficient mazut and diesel-fueled stations operating on the island. Running them costs about 400 million euros annually, or roughly half the nationwide sum needed for such facilities overall, whose operating costs range between 700 million and 850 million euros per year. This amount is covered by electricity consumers nationwide, through Public Service Compensation (YKO) surcharges on power bills. The total sum will be halved when the Cretan interconnection project is launched.
The Cretan interconnection plan meets requirements for EU funding as well as loans from the European Investment Bank (EIB).