Renewables

Greece suspends electricity imports until May 7 to protect system

IPTO suspends all electricity imports until May 7 to protect the Greek system

Photo: Couleur on Pixabay

Published

May 3, 2024

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Published:

May 3, 2024

Country:

,

Comments:

0

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The Independent Power Transmission Operator (IPTO or Admie) of Greece has announced the suspension of all electricity imports in the hours around noon through May 7.

According to the official announcement of IPTO, the import capacity in interconnections with Italy, Albania, North Macedonia, Bulgaria and Turkey will be zero from 8:00 until 17:00 every day from today through May 7.

The only exception is the direction Bulgaria-Greece, where 100 MW will be allowed for two hours every morning and 250 MW from 16:00 to 17:00.

The reason for the drastic measure is that in recent weekends there have been many consecutive hours of zero and negative prices in the day-ahead market as the production of renewable electricity far exceeds demand in Greece.

It is forcing IPTO, the country’s transmission system operator, to enforce ever higher curtailments, not because of the grid’s inability to handle the extra load, but simply because the power is not needed.

IPTO forecasted that today, on Good Friday, renewables in Greece would peak at almost 7 GW at 13:00, against a system load of just 4.7 GW.

It is notable that on the day-ahead market for today, Good Friday, the price was almost zero for five hours, with renewables at 63% of the production mix. According to IPTO’s projection, renewables will peak at almost 7 GW at 13:00, against a system load of just 4.7 GW.

Traditionally during the Easter weekend, demand falls steeply, meaning that an even greater surplus could occur. IPTO expects the hourly load to fall below 4.5 GW on Saturday and Sunday while the weather will determine the level of solar power production.

When it comes specifically to Bulgaria’s exports to Greece, they tend to increase during the hours around noon. Last Sunday they were near 300 MW in the morning and later they climbed to between 400MW and 500 MW. During these hours, Bulgaria’s wholesale price was slightly lower than Greece’s, meaning there is an incentive for exports.

It is why investors in the Greek renewables market are saying their solar and wind farms are suffering. Low demand creates the problem and imports make it even worse for them.

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