The Ministry of Environment and Energy and the Independent Power Transmission Operator announce the completion of Crete-Peloponnese electrical interconnection, which constitutes the first step for the lift of Crete’s energy isolation as well as its transition to a cleaner energy mix. The conclusion of the construction works in Chania and Neapoli, Lakonia, followed the successful test electrification of all parts of the project, sea and land, which was carried out over the last days.
The new 150kV AC interconnection (transmission capacity of 2x200 MVA) is expected to enter trial operation in the following period, transferring the first electric loads to Crete island. This first interconnection of Crete to the mainland will cover 1/3 of the island’s energy needs, substituting the production of aged local power plants which are the most costly and polluting.
The total cost of the flagship project, which amounted to 380 million euros, was co-financed by Greece and the European Union and as well as by loans from the European Investment Bank (EIB).
Innovations & benefits of the project
The new interconnection incorporates major technological innovations and breaks world records. It is the longest submarine/underground alternating current cable interconnection in the world (174 km), while the maximum cable laying depth (1,000 meters) places it at the top of the most technically demanding electrical interconnection projects globally.
Upon the full interconnection of Crete with the mainland system in 2023, when the interconnection with Attica is to be completed, CO2 emissions for the power generation of Crete will be reduced to zero, improving dramatically the environmental footprint of the island. In addition, from the withdrawal of conventional polluting power plants in Crete, all consumers in the country will save up to 400 million euros per year paid on electricity bills through PSOs.
The Minister of Environment & Energy, Mr. Kostas Skrekas, stated: “I want to congratulate the management, but also the employees of IPTO, for the completion of this important project. With the small interconnection of Crete-Peloponnese, we are taking another step towards the shielding of Greece's energy security. This is a project of the utmost importance for the whole country, but especially for the island of Crete where the energy demand during the summer months increases dramatically. By continuing the implementation of our island interconnections' strategic plan with mainland Greece, citizens will benefit financially from the reductions in electricity prices through the PSOs while, at the same time, we manage to substantially reduce carbon dioxide emissions, thus contributing to the protection of the environment”.
The President and CEO of IPTO, Mr. Manos Manousakis, said: “We are very pleased to reach the finishing line of such an important project. IPTO set the bar high, both in terms of timing and technical challenges, and managed to transcend it. The future of Greece's energy transition passes through the sea. With this project, the Operator has proven that it can respond even to the most demanding electrical interconnection projects and implement them consistently, achieving significant economic and environmental benefits for all citizens of the country”.