Greece and Italy are planning to triple their power interconnection capacity by 2031 by building a 1 GW undersea line. CEOs of Terna and IPTO agreed to begin the studies early next year.
Chief Executive Officer of Independent Power Transmission Operator (IPTO or Admie) of Greece Manos Manousakis and his counterpart Giuseppina Di Foggia from Italy-based Terna spoke in Athens about accelerating the GR.ITA 2 cable project. The feasibility study, completed last year, showed that the two countries’ interconnection capacity should be tripled by installing a 1 GW undersea line.
The heads of the transmission system operators – TSOs and other top executives agreed at a meeting to launch the necessary studies in early 2024, Energypress reported. They plan to commission the interconnector in 2031.
The proposed GR.ITA 2 interconnector would be more than 300 kilometers long
The twin high-voltage direct current (HVDC) cables between are envisaged to be accompanied by advanced voltage source converters (VSCs). The line would run between Galatina in Italy, through Melendugno, on the Adriatic coast in Apulia, under the Strait of Otranto and Ionian Sea to Thesprotia, located across the way from the southern tip of the island of Corfu in Greece.
A substation set to be installed in Thesprotia is planned to serve a new interconnection with Albania as well. The subsea section is planned to be 250 kilometers long.
Of note, Italy is the largest net importer of electricity in Europe.
Greece imported 1.5 TWh through the existing 500 MW interconnection last year and exported 2.15 TWh. The 400 kV cable of more than 300 kilometers connects Arachthos in Greece, via Aetos on the coast, with Galatina. It came online in 2001.
Manousakis and Di Foggia, who took the helm in Terna in the spring, also discussed the ways to expand and improve the electricity networks in Europe in line with the proposals tabled during an event that the European Network of Transmission System Operators (ENTSO-E) organized in September.
In addition, Greece is working on interconnection projects with Turkey, Egypt, Cyprus, North Macedonia and Israel.