Greek power grid to bring forward islands link by two years

Wikimedia/ User Sandpiper

Reuters – Greece’s power grid operator ADMIE will bring forward by two years a plan to link some of the country’s islands to the mainland grid via undersea cables, the company said on Friday.

Last year, state-controlled ADMIE was spun off from power utility Public Power Corp. (PPC) under Greece’s international bailout, with China’s State Grid, the world’s biggest utility, acquiring a 24 percent stake.

ADMIE‘S board decided on Friday to complete the third phase of a plan to interconnect some of the Cyclades islands to the main grid in 2020, two years earlier than initially planned, a company spokesman said.

The power grid operator signed a non-binding agreement with China Development Bank in November as it looks for fresh capital to finance infrastructure projects.

The project is part of a 2 billion euro, 10-year investment plan, which also includes connecting  Crete to the mainland’s grid, via undersea cables.

“All parties are committed to the need of speeding up interconnection plans as the Greek economy is recovering and electricity consumption is seen rising,” ADMIE’s Chief Executive Officer Manos Manousakis said in a statement.

Electricity production in the Aegean islands and Crete is still subsidised by the mainland consumers to the tune of more than a hundred million euros every year to cover the extra costs of expensive diesel powered power generation, despite increased generation from renewables.

The interconnection scheme could also find investors who want to build wind power and solar heat generation units on the island.

If Crete is interconnected and its enormous wind and sun potential is exploited, then the interconnection is self funded, energy experts have estimated.