The Environment and Energy Ministry and the Independent Power Transmission Operator (IPTO) on Thursday announced the completion of the Crete-Peloponnese electricity interconnection after the conclusion of the construction works in Chania and Neapoli, Laconia and the successful pilot electrification of all parts of the project, both in the sea and on land.
The interconnection is the first step to lifting the island’s energy isolation and Crete’s transition to a cleaner energy mix, as it will cover 1/3 of the island’s energy needs, replacing the production of the older local power plants that are the most expensive and polluting. It will be followed by the large Heraklion-Attica interconnection which is under construction.
The cost of the project, 397 million euros, was covered by co-financing from Greece and the European Union and loans from the European Investment Bank (EIB).
As IPTO pointed out, the new interconnection incorporates important technological innovations and breaks world records. It is the longest submarine/underground cable interconnection in the world (174 km), while the maximum immersion depth (1,000 meters) places it at the top of the most technically demanding electrical interconnection projects worldwide.
“With the small interconnection of Crete-Peloponnese, we are taking another step towards the shielding of Greece’s energy security. This is a project of the utmost importance for the whole country, but especially for the island of Crete where the energy demand during the summer months increases dramatically,” Greece’s Minister of Environment and Energy Kostas Skrekas said.
“By continuing the implementation of our island interconnections’ strategic plan with mainland Greece, citizens will benefit financially from the reductions in electricity prices through the PSOs while, at the same time, we manage to substantially reduce carbon dioxide emissions, thus contributing to the protection of the environment.”
During the full interconnection of Crete with the mainland system in 2023, when the interconnection with Attica will be completed, consumers will save up to 400 million euros per year from electricity bills paid to public utility companies.