An electricity corridor between Greece and Poland would enable the transmission of surplus solar power from the Balkans to northwestern Europe and wind power in the opposite direction. The countries involved in the initiative are preparing to present it to ENTSO-E.
Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Greece are working on an idea to strengthen power interconnections, which would contribute to grid stability and enable the integration of more renewables. The initiative for a green electricity corridor will be presented to the European Network of Transmission System Operators (ENTSO-E) by October 16, Executive Director of Bulgaria’s Electricity System Operator (ESO) Angelin Tsachev revealed.
Speaking at a round table in Sofia dedicated to onshore wind power potential, he said the project would enable the transmission of solar power from the continent’s southeast, where in some areas there are 1,700 to 1,800 sunny hours per year. It compares to 900 hours in countries like Poland and Germany, Tsachev added.
At the same time, wind power plants in the northwest would be able to send surplus electricity to the other side of Europe.
Wind farms are required to balance Bulgaria’s solar power boom
Tsachev also said that renewables in Bulgaria surpassed the country’s nuclear power plant Kozloduy on many occasions in electricity production this summer. However, he pointed out that wind farms are necessary to balance the surge in solar power. In the past year and a half, more than 1.7 GW from renewable energy sources was connected to the grid and up to 300 MW more is expected by the end of the year, the head of ESO noted.
Minister of Environment and Water Julian Popov said the country should cooperate with Greece, Romania, the Western Balkans and Ukraine on the development of the wind power sector.
Greece aspires to become transmission hub with green electricity corridor projects
Of note, Greece proposed a set of measures in March to the European Commission and energy ministers to strengthen interconnections between the north and south. It included the Western Balkans into the plan, which also envisages the development of an investment mechanism.
The government in Athens earlier also floated an initiative for a green electricity corridor to Austria through the Western Balkans. In addition, Greece is set to connect with Cyprus, Egypt and Israel via subsea cables and upgrade its interconnections with Italy and Turkey. The submarine links would also enable the transmission of renewable electricity from Egypt and the Arabian Peninsula to Europe.