IPTO is launching the construction of the Santorini electrical interconnection

The Chairman and CEO Mr. Manos Manousakis, broke ground of the High Voltage Substation in Monolithos, along with the contractors of the project

The Santorini-Naxos electrical interconnection, one of the major energy projects implemented by the Independent Power Transmission Operator (IPTO), as part of its investment program of EUR 5 billion until 2030, is currently at the stage of commissioning. 

The Chairman and CEO of IPTO, Mr. Manos Manousakis laid the foundation on Monday, 9 May, of the new High Voltage Substation that will be built in the Monolithos area of Santorini, together with the Chairman and CEO of Damco Energy, Mr. Christos Copelouzos and the CEO of Cenergy Holdings and Hellenic Cables Mr. Alexis Alexiou, head of the contractor companies of the project.

At the press conference held today by the Operator in Santorini, on the occasion of the foundation of the new Substation, which will be “hosting” the High Voltage cable, the Chairman and CEO of IPTO Mr. Manos Manousakis, said: “With the electrical interconnection starting on time and expected to be completed in the first half of 2023, we will also integrate Santorini, one of the world’s top tourist destinations, into the High Voltage System, ensuring its quality electricity supply from the mainland, with multiple benefits for the local economy and the environment. With this project, the Operator enters the fourth and final phase of the interconnection of the Cyclades. By 2024 we will also have connected Folegandros, Milos and Serifos, closing an investment cycle of over EUR 800 million, in order to provide energy security to more than 20 islands of the Cyclades. The final phase of the Cyclades interconnection is a project of major importance for the national energy and environmental goals as we estimate that its operation will reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 150 thousand tons and create a margin of up to 730 MW for the development new RES”. 

“Hellenic Cables is an ally to IPTO’s great vision of ensuring the energy security of the Greek islands, supporting their interconnection projects. The start of the Santorini-Naxos interconnection works, marks the first step towards securing the energy supply and the environmental upgrade of the island of Santorini, leading it to a low-carbon economy,” said the CEO of Cenergy Holdings and Hellenic Cables Mr. Alexis Alexiou. “We are very proud that our cable solutions contribute decisively to the quality, uninterrupted and eco-friendly supply of energy and to the upgrading of the lives of the residents and tourists of this island, which is also one of the most important travel destinations in the world.” 

“Today is another brave step towards achieving the independence of the Cyclades from oil, and we at Damco Energy are proud to be part of the energy transition of our islands in terms of security and autonomy. In collaboration with the Chinese group Xian Electric, we are building the High Voltage Substation for IPTO and HEDNO, a complex and demanding project, which will also include a state-of-the-art reactive energy compensation complex. This project offers significant benefits for the consumers themselves, the society and the environment, since its interconnection with the mainland electricity transmission system will make Santorini an island with a stable and more eco-friendly electricity supply”, said the Chairman and CEO of Damco Energy Mr. Christos D. Kopelouzos.

The foundation stone laying ceremony for the Substation was also attended by the Mayor of Thira Mr. Antonis Sigalas, who highlighted the importance of the new interconnection that will definitively eliminate the island’s energy isolation and will essentially upgrade its tourist product. He also praised the excellent cooperation of the Local Government bodies with IPTO for the implementation of the project, which, as he mentioned, “fully respects the uniqueness of the Cycladic landscape and the local architecture”.

A project of high technical requirements

The morphology of the seabed and the volcanic relief of Santorini make the Santorini-Naxos electrical interconnection a particularly complex technical project, for which innovative technological solutions will be deployed. The Deputy Chairman and Chief Technology, Planning & Strategy Officer of IPTO Mr. Ioannis Margaris presented the impressive technical features and construction challenges presented by the project, which, as he said, will cover 60% of the total load of Phase IV of the Cyclades Interconnection. 

The cable to be used will be 82.5 km long, High Voltage 150 kV with fiber optic integration. It is to be submerged to a maximum depth of 435m and will be buried for its protection throughout the subsea section of the interconnection.
Regarding the onshore part of the project, the High Voltage Substation to be constructed will be of advanced GIS technology to minimize environmental and visual disturbance. In addition to the Substation, an advanced Static VAR Compensator (SVC) system will also be installed in order to further improve stability and maintain System voltages in all operating conditions.

The project is being implemented within the framework of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan “Greece 2.0” with funding from the European Union – NextGeneration EU, amounting to EUR 164.5 million, as part of Phase 4 of the electrical interconnection of the Cyclades.