Greece’s Independent Transmission Operator (IPTO or ADMIE) has new interconnection projects in its preliminary ten-year development plan, which it issued for public consultation.
According to IPTO Chairman and CEO Manos Manousakis, the group continues to enhance international interconnections and strengthen infrastructure despite challenges caused by the energy crisis.
The company said it aims to more than double the Greek transmission system by 2030 with benefits for renewables, reducing CO2 emissions and enhancing trade between the countries of the region.
Regulatory support is particularly important for investments
During the energy transition, regulatory support is particularly important for maintaining the viability of the operator’s investments, Manousakis added.
Second interconnection with Bulgaria
Greece and Bulgaria intend to expand their existing interconnection through the construction of a second line between Nea Santa and Maritsa East with a capacity of 2 GW and a length of 151 kilometers.
The new 400 kV line is a European project of common interest (PCI). It is envisaged to increase the total capacity to 1.4 GW in the direction toward Bulgaria and to 1.7 GW from Bulgaria toward Greece. Construction has been completed on the Bulgarian side, while on the Greek part of the border it is expected to be finished by the end of the year.
Second interconnection with Turkey
Another regional project is the second 400 kV interconnection between Greece and Turkey to be completed by 2029. The 130-kilometer line would have a capacity of 2 GW, running parallel to the existing one.
According to IPTO, the new interconnection will increase capacity by 600 MW in both directions and together with other new lines it will allow for increased renewable energy penetration in the system.
Greece and Italy to get second interconnection
Italian operator Terna has signed an agreement of terms of reference with IPTO for a new interconnection, with four phases for its development.
The goal is to increase capacity with a 1 GW high-voltage direct current cable under the Ionian Sea from 500 MW currently to 1,500 MW. The length of the new line is expected to reach 220 kilometers in the underwater segment plus another 55 kilometers on land.
Work is continuing on the EuroAsia Interconnector, by far the largest project in the region, with a length of 1,208 kilometers between Greece, Cyprus and Israel. The EUR 2.4 billion endeavor is planned with a capacity of 1 GW and is expected to be completed by 2027.
The project has so far received EUR 100 million in support from the EU through the Recovery and Resilience Facility. Studies are underway to enable the start of construction in 2024.
ELICA, a subsidiary of Copelouzos Group, has proposed to connect Greece and Egypt to enable importing green electricity from Africa. IPTO supports the GREGY project, which is currently in the planning stage.
In 2022, the working groups from the two countries met and a memorandum of understanding has already been signed with Egypt’s transmission operator EETC. This double subsea cable is to stretch 954 kilometers from El Sallum to coastal Nea Makri, northeast of Athens. It is envisaged to transmit low-cost green energy with 3 GW in capacity, of which one third would be provided to local industries and the other two thirds exported to other EU member states.
Upgrading the Greece – North Macedonia line
IPTO and North Macedonia’s transmission operator MEPSO intend to upgrade their interconnection after 2030.
More detailed studies on the project are expected in the next few years, according to IPTO.
Second interconnection with Albania
IPTO and its Albanian counterpart OST have been in talks since 2020 on the possibility of building a second 400 kV interconnection. In February 2022 a work group was formed to examine the technical aspects of the project.
The goal is to connect Arachtos in Greece with Fier in Albania with a 145-kilometer cable. The line would increase capacity by at least 200 MW in both directions.