€3.5 billion to be invested in power distribution system by 2032

A high-voltage tower.
Power distribution system operator planning €3.5 billion in investment by 2032. Photo: STA

SODO, the state-run electricity distribution system operator, will invest €3.5 billion in the system over the next ten years to prepare it to respond to the challenges of green transition.

The investment is planned in the 2023-2032 development plan, which has recently received a green light from the Energy Agency. The plan was prepared in cooperation with all five electricity distribution companies.

It addresses the challenges posed by decarbonisation, decentralisation of electricity generation and the mass introduction of electrification or the use of electricity as the main energy product in transport or heating, SODO said on 20 January.

The strategy is aligned with the National Energy and Climate Plan. In electricity distribution, it envisages stepping up the capacity and resilience to disruption, and advancing and tapping into the resilience of network resources in line with the sustainable needs of users.

The bulk of the money (72%) will be invested in the low- and medium-voltage networks. This is because in the past the networks were not planned for the current scale and use of electricity. Of the €2.5 billion allocated for the two networks, €1.2 billion is earmarked for the low-voltage grid.

The share of investment in 110-kilovolt infrastructure is 12%. Investment in secondary equipment accounts for 8% of total investment over the next ten years.

The investment is to increase the network’s resilience to extreme weather effects as a priority target.

The introduction of advanced network concepts and, above all, implementing tried-and-tested solutions will be key in the process to optimise the use of the system, ensure the quality of supply and adapt services to accommodate users, SODO said.

In the coming period, the focus will also be on the security and reliability of the energy system.

SODO notes that it is and will be even more important in the future that all users make a fair and proportionate contribution to cover the costs of the electricity system.