A total of 21 islands in the Cyclades, Dodecanese and northestern Aegean will be included in a list of electricity interconnections using underwater cables that aims to reduce their currently high electricity costs, ranging between 500-800 million euros annually, which is covered by Greek consumers through utilities bills.
A scientific commission set up by the Regulatory Authority for Energy in December 2015 to study and come up with the best solution for the supply of electricity of these islands, is currently nearing completion of its work.
Dr Nikos Boulaxis, president of the Authority, explained that once the links to the mainland power grid are implemented, at least 80 pct of energy that is produced currently on the Greek islands by expensive oil-powered power units will be integrated into the mainland system, resulting in an annual benefit for consumers of around 400-650 million euros a year.
A project to link the Cyclades island group with the mainland grid is currently in the initial phases and includes the connection of Syros with Lavrio and Tinos, Paros and Mykonos (The islands of Andros and Tinos have been connected already with Evia). Completion of the project is expected in early 2018.
A second phase for interconnecting the Cyclades islands, already approved, includes the Paros-Naxos and Naxos-Mykonos interconnectors and upgrading the connection between Andros and Evia. Completion of the project is expected in early 2019.
A third phase for the Cyclades, already approved, envisages a second power cable connecting Lavrio and Syros (expected by 2022).
Energy authorities have also decided on a project for linking Crete to the national grid, through a so-called “small” interconnection (with a power capacity of 2×140 MW from the Peloponese to be completed in 2020) and a “large” interconnection (with a power capacity of 2×500 MW from Attica to be completed in 2021-2022). The latter interconnection is related with the Euro Asia Interconnector.
A fourth phase envisages interconnections for the Cyclades, Dodecanese and Eastern Aegean islands.
The project aims to exploit the islands’ high wind and solar capacity for power production.