New interconnections and storage projects in IPTO's TYNDP 2022-2031

The public consultation regarding IPTO's preliminary Ten-Year Development Plan (TYNDP) for the period 2022-2031 was launched in January.

The public consultation regarding IPTO's preliminary Ten-Year Development Plan (TYNDP) for the period 2022-2031 -with a total budget of 4.1 billion euros- was launched on January 5th, 2020. IPTO's medium-term planning envisages new international interconnections, upgrade projects concerning High (150 kV) and Ultra-High Voltage (400 kV) National Transmission System as well as compensation projects throughout the System aiming to improve reliability within an environment of increased RES penetration. The new TYNDP also includes proposals for pilot electricity storage projects on the islands and the mainland.

International interconnections

The development of international interconnections is pivotal for the Operator's growth strategy as it contributes considerably to the stability of the System and the convergence of prices between different European regions. In this context, IPTO is in cooperation with Operators of neighboring countries in order to evaluate the alternatives for the reinforcement of transnational interconnections.

Greece-Bulgaria: For the new interconnection with a 400 kV overhead line between HVC N. Santa and Maritsa East 1 Substation, there will be a six-month acceleration, putting the completion of the project in the middle of 2022.

Greece-Italy: Over the next period, IPTO and TERNA will examine alternatives for the development of a new subsea interconnection linking the Greek and Italian Systems, while possibilities of utilizing existing infrastructure will be also explored. According to current estimates, the need for reinforcement (in terms of new interconnection power) ranges between 500 and 1,000 MW.

Greece-Albania: The Operators of the two countries are examining the design of a new 400 kV interconnection line between the southern Transmission System of the neighboring country and a suitable High Voltage Center within the Greek System.

Greece-North Macedonia: The Operators are evaluating scenarios for upgrading the existing 400 kV interconnection between the countries.

Electricity storage

The key role of storage systems emerges within the framework of energy transition toward the new era, as their integration into the electrical system offers multiple advantages that optimize its operation. The new TYNDP includes a proposal for a pilot project concerning the installation of battery systems in Naxos, with a capacity of 7 to 10 MW and a completion schedule within 2022. Similar plans are expected in the region of Central Greece, where storage projects will contribute substantially to local congestion management due to high RES penetration.

Increased RES penetration

Meeting the goals set by the National Energy and Climate Plan (ESEK) for the year 2030 and the Long-Term Energy Planning for the year 2050, requires the acceleration of procedures concerning the integration of new RES plants on a large scale. Particular plans for the installation of RES are expected to contribute in this regard, which, however, require the implementation of significant power transmission projects.

With the interconnection of the Aegean islands and the expansion of the 400 kV Transmission System in Peloponnese, IPTO paves the way for the creation of 3 GW capacity which will allow the integration of new renewables in the domestic energy system. Power Transmission infrastructure provided for in the TYNDP satisfies the objectives of ESEK for the inclusion of RES in the energy mix by 2030.

Offshore wind farms

The expansion of the Interconnected Transmission System on the islands creates the conditions for the development of offshore wind farms, as this significantly reduces distances between the sources of power generation and the Transmission System's connection points.

In this context, the necessity for a comprehensive plan emerges with respect to the development of strategic infrastructure in the sea, aiming to establish optimal "joint" connections of offshore wind farms or wind farms on islands, belonging to different producers. IPTO can address these needs, as it possesses essential know-how and experience for both the design and the implementation of offshore High Voltage interconnection networks.

Mr. Manos Manousakis, IPTO President and CEO stated in this regard:

“The ten-year plans that the Operator prepares each year are not just paper exercises. They are definite implementation plans with ambitious but achievable schedules. During the past 3.5 years, we have "unlocked" investments amounting to 2.2 billion euros through the electrical interconnections and we have implemented projects that were "stuck" for many years. Over the next period, an even greater acceleration of investments is expected through the new perspectives that are opened up with the interconnection of large-scale RES projects, the development of offshore wind farms and the new energy storage technologies. IPTO is the "enabler" of the energy transition which is a top political priority on a national and a European level."