Crete in the centre of another ambitious power project

Wikimedia/ User Sandpiper

eKathimerini — Crete is set to become a power interconnection junction, and an example to follow along the lines of the European Union’s Clean Energy for EU Islands initiative if an ambitious plan to carry energy from Africa and Europe is implemented.

The company Green Power 2020 has drafted a plan for the transmission of solar generated power via underwater cable from the port of Tobruk in Libya to Crete – which is also expected to be linked to the Attica grid in the future – and relies on the EU policy for its implementation, the company’s founder, Gassan Anbar, told Kathimerini.

With its 2,700 islands, Greece is an indispensable and vital part of that European initiative for the development of European islands and the reduction of their costly dependence on fossil fuel,” Anbar said.

He presented his company’s plan at the Clean Energy for EU Islands forum that took place in Chania on Crete on September 22, and now stresses that the “Leg 1” project that will link up Tobruk with Crete via a 2,000-megawatt two-way underwater connection will have no impact on the Greek state budget as it relies on private funds. He also highlighted that Greek companies will be preferred for the construction work required.

In 2012 Greece received EU funds to study the electricity interconnection of the country with Cyprus and Israel, through Crete using submarine cables but the project remained on the planning stage.

Linking Crete to the mainland grid should be  the first step towards realising any of several ambitious plans of  making Crete a regional power hub.

The state would face a large bill for the interconnector project, but that would very quickly turn into profits given the savings from subsidising diesel powered electricity in the island.

Additionally, if Crete gets interconnected it could exploit  its enormous wind and sun potential and sell power to the mainland grid.