Crete to turn into energy crossroad
The key role of Crete in international and domestic energy developments with new interfaces being implemented or planned and investments in renewable energy sources and storage was highlighted at two conferences held last week in Athens and Heraklion.
Investments in renewable energy sources and storage are also planned.
"It is clear that Crete is emerging as an energy crossroad in the
region, securing a strategic position for another reason in the
geopolitical map of SE Europe. Major electrical connections studied in
the region, such as Cyprus and Israel or Egypt and Libya, include Crete
", stressed the vice-president of IPTO (Indipendent Power Transmission
Operator) Ioannis Margaris, speaking at the Cretan Energy Conference. As
he underlined, IPTO, simultaneously with the submarine
interconnections, plans investments of 45 million euros for the upgrade
of the High Voltage System of Crete within the next three years. As it
is known, the "small" interconnection of Chania - Peloponnese has
already been put into operation, which covers one third of the island 's
energy needs in the summer months and all the needs in the winter. At
the same time, the construction of the cables for the "big" connection
between Heraklion and Attica has begun, along with the excavations in
Attica (to begin in Heraklion in September) with the aim of laying the
first section of the submarine cable in the fall.
According to Mr. Margaris, in 2024, which will be the first full year of operation of both interconnections, the savings for all consumers in the electricity bills (through the SGIs) will amount to 550 million euros and will reach 1 billion. euros in 2030.
At the same conference, the Vice President of the Eunice Group, George Pechlivanoglou, referred to the project of interconnection of Egypt with Crete, Greece Africa Power Interconnector, emphasizing that the exploitation of the Greek-Egyptian EEZ and the close transnational cooperation between the two countries, in terms of strategy and energy historic opportunity for the implementation of innovative projects, which have the potential to change the energy and geopolitical map of the region. He also invited for cooperation in this, but also in general in the projects of international connections, investments in RES and energy storage, implemented by the Group.
At the Economist conference, the head of Enel Green Power Hellas and President of SolarPower Europe, Aristotelis Hadavas, referred to the company's investment plans, which he said include projects with a total capacity of 1.5 GW, of which 630 MW are related to the development of Distributed Power Plants in Western Macedonia and Crete. "These storage systems, he said, are combined with photovoltaic parks behind the grid, which can contribute to the stability of the electrical system, speed up de-ligation and help achieve national RES targets," he added.
HEDNO CEO Anastasios Manos also referred to the operation of the electrical system after the operation of the small interconnection and presented data, according to which, last week already about 50% of the demand on the island was covered by the interconnection and renewable sources established in Crete. Specifically, on July 7, with a peak of demand reaching 620 megawatts, 73 were covered by the interconnection, 82 MW by photovoltaics, 150 by wind sources and 315 by the oil units on the island.