An undersea cable linking the island of Crete to mainland Greece reached the Peloponnese, completing the first phase of a massive project aiming to steer Crete towards cleaner energy, Greek grid operator ADMIE and the Environment and Energy Ministry announced on Thursday.
Construction works have concluded in Chania and Neapoli, in Laconia, and ADMIE piloted the electrification of all parts of the project, both in the sea and on land.
The interconnection is the first step to helping Crete transit to a cleaner energy mix, as it will cover 1/3 of the island’s energy needs, replacing the production of the older local power plants that are the most expensive and polluting.
It will be followed by the construction of a second undersea cable linking Iraklio in Crete with Attica, a project which is expected to be completed in 2023.
When its full interconnection is complete, the CO2 emissions for the electrification of Crete will drop to zero, dramatically improving the environmental footprint of the island. In addition, consumers in the country will save up to 400 million euros per year from electricity bills, the ministry said.
ADMIE said the new interconnection incorporates important technological innovations and breaks world records. It is the longest submarine/underground cable interconnection in the world (174 km), while the maximum immersion depth (1,000 meters) places it at the top of the most technically demanding electrical interconnection projects worldwide.
The 328 kilometre underwater cable with a 1,000 megawatt capacity will eventually be linked to another cable that Cyprus, Greece and Israel plan to build to interconnect their power grids – the so-call Euro-Asia Interconnector that will cross the Mediterranean seabed.