New tech to enhance Greek-Bulgarian energy trading


A new technology installed and now commissioned by Greece’s Independent Power Transmission Operator (IPTO) will help enhance cross-border energy exchange with Bulgaria.

The power flow control technology, SmartValve, developed by Smart Wires, is the second of its type installed by IPTO as part of efforts to enhance the interconnection of the Greek grid network with neighbouring countries.

IPTO has deployed the solution as part of the Horizon 2020’s FARCROSS programme, in which the EU is connecting energy stakeholders to address challenges associated with the integration of member states’ grid systems for energy reliability and affordability.

This project builds on the previous Flexitranstore H2020 project which utilises smart grid technologies to address the challenges of large-scale renewable energy integration and increasing grid flexibility.

Using the SmartValve, IPTO will be able to direct power from overloaded lines to underutilised lines to ensure power quality across its transportation network, according to a statement. The solution was installed on the 150KV Nea Santa – Iasmos line to ensure more flexible capacity is exchanged between Greece and Bulgaria in line with energy demand and consumption signals.

George Papaioannou, Director of IPTO’s Research, Technology & Development Department, said: “Innovative projects like this are key to Europe’s energy transition and we are delighted to be collaborating with Smart Wires and ESO to improve utilisation of our existing networks.”

The EU has identified grid integration amongst its member states as a vital tool to help accelerate the decarbonisation of energy and in ensuring energy security amongst member states.

The commissioning of the SmartValve follows IPTO successfully integrating the Greek networks with that of Italy and Slovenia, in partnership with transmission network operators TERNA and ELES.

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Cross-border interconnection can help to decarbonise grid using clean capacity generated from other countries. Furthermore, integration can help address market instability by enabling electricity to be shared from countries with less demand to those with higher demand and higher prices.

In August, grid system operators Elering and AST announced the completion of the third interconnector between Estonia and Latvia to reduce reliance on the Russin grid and electricity congestion at their borders.