ECONOMY

Mobilization for winter power sufficiency

In view of Europe’s energy woes, Greece’s grid operator taking precautions to deal with demand

mobilization-for-winter-power-sufficiency

In view of Europe’s prolonged energy predicament ahead of winter, Greece’s electricity grid operator ADMIE is mobilizing all thermal units, natural gas and lignite, to deal with the conditions of high demand in the coming months.

The thermal units must be ready to work at full capacity in order to cover periods of high demand due to possible severe bad weather. To this end ADMIE has called on natural gas units to ensure timely contracts for high volumes of supply and lignite plants to ensure adequate lignite reserves in their yards. 

At the same time, the gas units that can work with alternative fuel – the units of Pubic Power Corporation (PPC), Elpedison and the small ones of Heron – are urged to fill their tanks with oil so that if a shortage of natural gas does arise, a total capacity of 1,790 MW can be ensured.

Moreover, excavators, conveyors and other PPC machinery that had been decommissioned for months as part of the delignification program have been repaired and made operational for the reopening of the three mines of the Ptolemaida lignite center. 

The high prices of natural gas have made the production of lignite cheaper and PPC’s lignite unit has, as of late, been in continuous operation, with the exception of Unit 5 near Agios Dimitrios, Kozani, which is in maintenance status. 

Megalopolis 3 in southern Greece is also ready for reopening to contribute to the stability of the system as the last “reserve,” as was the case during the heatwave. What’s more, the reopening of units 3 and 4 of Kardia in northern Greece that closed six months ago cannot now be ruled.

ADMIE, which was invited by the Energy Regulatory Authority to submit an updated system adequacy study for the critical quarter December-January-February, made its assessment of the system based on the data of the last five years.

It has noted that under normal circumstances there is no risk of power inadequacy; however, in case of high demand due to bad weather, it cannot be ruled out that the system will be stretched to its limits.

The water reserves in the reservoirs of PPC’s hydroelectric units are at their lowest levels in a decade, due to extensive use both during the Medea weather front last February and during the August heatwave.

Last week’s Ballos weather front, ADMIE said, did indeed lead to a drop in water quantities at the reservoirs but not enough to change the picture.