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Greek RAE calls for Aegean islands’ connection to mainland grid [free access]

August 21, 2019

In a major step to ensure energy security on the Aegean islands (a group of islands in the Aegean Sea in belonging to Greece), the Greek Regulatory Authority for Energy (RAE) has decided to electrically connect these to the continental electricity system by undersea cables (USCs).


Presently, although several islands in the Aegean Sea are connected to the mainland, three islands including Dodecanese, the western Cyclades and the islands of the North Aegean still operate autonomously with diesel power plants.


The first project includes the Greek Independent Power Transmission Operator (IPTO), Anexartitos Diacheiristis MetaforasIlektrikis Energeias’ (ADMIE) Cyclades Interconnection project. It includes the interconnection of the islands of Thira (Santorini)–Milos–Folegandros–Serifos–Sifnos–Kythnos to the mainland system (Lavrio). The EUR386 million project is scheduled for completion in 2024.


The second project includes the interconnection of Dodecanese island with the continental system. ADMIE has already incorporated this project in its ten-year network development plan (TYDNP) 2020-29. The project would allow Dodecanese to be reliably electrified by the Hellenic Electricity Transmission System, exploiting the renewable energy sources (RES) potential with significant environmental and socio-economic benefits. The Dodecanese Interconnection includes the Kos interconnection with the Greek mainland transmission system (in Corinth). It will include a 380-km-long, USC with a transfer capacity of 900 MW. The island of Rhodes will be connected to Kos, and the interconnection will be extended from Rhodes to the island of Karpathos. The EUR1.5 billion project is expected to be completed in 2027.


Meanwhile, in North Aegean, the investment projects include the interconnection of the Lesbos, Chios, Lemnos and Samos inlands with Thrace, or with Central Greece (Aliveri or Larymna). This project is estimated to cost nearly EUR500 million.


Reportedly, RAE has asked ADMIE and Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator for the inclusion of these interconnection projects in the Aegean islands, in its TYDNP. The interconnection projects are expected to be completed by 2030, thus removing the energy isolation in these islands  and also paving the way for renewable energy investments.


Moreover, RAE has also put forward its plans to develop renewable electricity systems and energy storage projects on the islands of Megisti (Kastelorizo) and Ai Strati, also part of the Aegean group of islands. Thus, transforming these islands into autonomous islands powered by green energy.