Greek consumers to save billions when islands are linked to mainland power grid

consumers electricity cable interconnector

The linking of the power grids of Crete, the Dodecanese Islands and the NE Aegean Islands with that of the mainland will bring a net benefit of over 4.5 billion euros to consumers from 2022 to 2030, government officials revealed.

The projects for the power grid connections are part of the Independent Power Transmission Operator (IPTO) development plans, and the benefits accrue from reducing the cost of powering the islands, which consumers pay through the "Utilities Services" (YKO) charges on their electricity bills.

Based on estimates publicized last week by Environment & Energy Minister Kostas Skrekas, the benefits for consumer range from 138 million in 2022 to 864 million euros in 2030.

As of this year, YKO charges have been reduced by 1 million euros a day since July 3, when the mini-connection between Chania on Crete and the Peloponnese was completed.

Once the power grids of Crete and Attica are linked in 2021, the benefit to consumers will rise sharply to 348 mln euros in 2024 and 385 mln euros in 2025, Skrekas said.

These estimates are based on the fact that prior to linking with the mainland, the islands are supplied by local units that produce electricity through the use of diesel or crude oil, raising production costs.

The linked grids will guarantee adequate supplies in the peak tourism periods on the islands to consumers, and benefit the environment as well.

In the Cyclades, which is not included in the above numbers, the completion of island linking with the mainland grid is in its last phase was included in the Recovery Fund projects last week.

This fourth phase, budgeted at 164.5 million euros, will include submerged cables of 353.2km linking the substation of Lavrio on the Attica coast with the new substation of Naxos island, through the islands of Serifos, Milos, Folegandros and Thira (Santorini), whose new substations are pending.

The Santorini-Naxos connection, an 80-mln-euro project, was awarded in August and those of Folegandros, Milos and Serifos will be submitted to a tendering process shortly.

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