Hellenic Cables, IPTO and the Greek Govt Connect Crete Island to Greece’s Mainland Grid via 174-km Submarine Cable

Upon its successful operation in 2023, Hellenic Cables, IPTO and the Greek Gov’ project will help transmit 2×200 MVA electricity from Greece’s mainland grid, giving the island of Crete a reliable source of clean energy

A snapshot of Hellenic Cables laying the submarine cable between Pelopponnese and the island of Crete, Credit: IPTO website

A snapshot of Hellenic Cables laying the submarine cable between Pelopponesus and the island of Crete, Credit: IPTO website

Greece’s Ministry of Environment and Energy, Independent Power Transmission Operator (IPTO) and Hellenic Cables announced the completion of a flagship project to connect the Greek mainland with its biggest neighbouring island, Crete. The new 150kV AC interconnection will transmit an expected capacity of 2×200 MVA electricity from Pelopponesus on the Greek coast to the island of Crete via submarine cable network.

Test electrification has successfully been carried out in various areas covered by the project, both on land and the sea. Crete will be fully connected to the Greek mainland grid by 2023. Once this happens, Crete’s carbon emissions generated by power production will drop to zero, enabling the island to permanently withdraw from its polluting power plants. The Greek government expects that Crete islanders will be able to save up to €400 million in electricity bills every year.

The Minister of Environment & Energy, Mr. Kostas Skrekas, stated: “This is a project of the utmost importance for the whole country, but especially for the island of Crete where the energy demand during the summer months increases dramatically. By continuing the implementation of our island interconnections’ strategic plan with mainland Greece, citizens will benefit financially from the reductions in electricity prices through the PSOs while, at the same time, we manage to substantially reduce carbon dioxide emissions, thus contributing to the protection of the environment”.

The cable has been laid by Hellenic Cables at a cost of €380 million and breaks several world records with its successful installation. Covering a length of 174 kilometres, it is the longest underground alternating current cable interconnection in the world. In places, the maximum cable laying depth has reached a kilometre, also making it one of the most technically demanding electrical interconnection projects in the world.

The President and CEO of IPTO, Mr. Manos Manousakis, said: “IPTO set the bar high, both in terms of timing and technical challenges, and managed to transcend it. The future of Greece’s energy transition passes through the sea. With this project, the Operator has proven that it can respond even to the most demanding electrical interconnection projects and implement them consistently, achieving significant economic and environmental benefits for all citizens of the country”.

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