A project to connect Crete with the Peloponnese via an underwater cable that will put an end to the electrical isolation of the Greek island from the mainland electricity transmission system took an important step forward this week as the contracts for the implementation of the interconnection Crete – Peloponnese were signed on November 27 in the presence of Greece’s Energy Minister Giorgos Stathakis.

The project, which falls within European Union goals to end the energy isolation of EU islands, is expected to begin before the end of the year and to be completed in less than 2 years. In conjunction with the Crete-Attica “Great Interconnection,” the Crete-Peloponnese project will allow the Greek island not to rely for the production of electricity from oil plants leading to lower CO2 emissions and energy independence at a lower cost to the benefit of all citizens and consumers, the Greek Energy Minister said.

“The realization of the electrical interconnection of Crete with Peloponnese is a historic moment. It allows for the energy transformation of Crete and paves the way for Crete to become a ‘green’ island that will have a minimal environmental footprint, while at the same time, ensuring the energy security and development prospects for the island,” Stathakis, who is from Crete, said during the signing ceremony in Kissamos, in the west part of the Mediterranean island. He noted that even though discussions about the cable connection of Crete started in the mid-80s, it took a long time for the project to mature but Greece is now at a stage when “interconnectors are a top priority.”

He reminded that at this stage the first phase of interconnecting the Cyclades, a group of islands in the Aegean Sea has been completed and the second and third phases are progressing rapidly.

According to Greek power grid operator ADMIE, the Crete-Peloponnese electrical interconnector project ensures the timely completion of one more project of national importance with beneficial consequences for the reliable energy supply of Crete. The Crete-Peloponnese interconnection is the longest submarine-underground AC cable interconnection in the world (134 kilometers submarine and 42 kilometers underground sections). The maximum depth of cables laid along the underwater route (950 meters) places this project at the top of the most demanding electrification projects internationally.