• The undersea cable interconnection project between Crete and Attica has begun in Greece
  • Country expects the project to complete in 2023 when the island will be able to shut all polluting power plants
  • It will enable construction of 2.5 GW of wind and solar power capacity on the island ensuring affordable and green power supply to Crete

The Greek Ministry of Environment and Energy (YEPKA) has officially announced the beginning of an electricity interconnection project between Crete island with the mainland to Attica which would ensure electricity supply to the island will be affordable, and green. Through the undersea cable connecting Crete, the project will also allow building of wind and solar PV stations with a combined capacity of 2.5 GW.

Reuters stated that Greece has already licensed some 2 GW of the 2.5 GW additional renewable energy capacity that can be built on the island, which could help it align with the European Union’s goal of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Greek Energy Regulator RAE recently stated it has awarded 2.1 GW of wind and solar power projects through competitive auction process while announcing another auction for July 27, 2020.

As per the ministry, the Crete-Attica electricity interconnection project will be built for an investment of €1 billion ($1.13 billion) and holds national importance as its completion in 2023 will ‘permanently remove the energy exclusion of the island’. With wind and solar PV plants supplying clean power, Crete will also be able to end its dependence on polluting oil power plants as these will be shut for good. The island is expected to see its CO2 pollution levels reduce by 60% compared to current levels, the ministry stated.

To construct this undersea cable project, Greek transmission system operator ADMIE has selected Prysmian, Nexans, Association of Hellenic Cables-NKT, and Siemens-Terna. Their job involves laying down 2 high voltage cables of 500 kV and their electrification in 2023 will increase the transport capacity of the Crete System to 1 GW.

“The Crete-Attica submarine power plant is one of the largest projects in the country in recent years. It is also a development project, especially for Crete, for which a new chapter of energy security and certainty begins. Thanks to this project, €400 million ($454 million) will be saved annually from consumer accounts,” said the Energy Minister Kostis Hatzidakis. “However, the project also has an environmental sign, as when completed, the units in Linoperamata, Atherinolakko and Chania will be closed.”