Floating solar power projects to back Greek renewables drive

Author: Luka Dimitrov

2021/01/22

LONDON (ICIS)--Growing applications for the construction of new floating photovoltaic (FPV) plants in Greece are expected to support Greek renewable 2030 targets.

Greek energy firm GEK TERNA applied for producer’s certificate for three FPVs with 265MW total capacity, said an official statement on Tuesday. The three projects are:

- 120MW in the artificial reservoir of Kastraki

- 103MW in the artificial reservoir of Pournari

- 42MW in an artificial army reservoir

The company said it will invest €170m in the projects.

The application is the first step as the licensing procedure for such projects will take no less than three years, a GEK TERNA spokesperson told ICIS on Friday.

Currently there are no FPVs installed in Greece. PPC Renewables, a renewable unit of the state-owned energy firm Public Power Corporation, is the only other player that has applied for a 50MW FPV last December, according to data from energy regulator RAE.

FPVs have huge potential in Greece as the country is a marine nation and its landscape offers a lot of opportunities for this technology, commented a local source.

“We are looking at this technology at the moment. I heard German, Italian and American firms are keen to invest too, so it could be a big driver in our renewable push,” added a second local participant.

Local participants said two other Greek firms are expected to apply for at least 500MW in FVPs this year.

However, the government needs to introduce more specific legislation for this new technology, a lawyer specialising in Greek energy law told ICIS on Friday.

“Sitting panels on water will need extra scrutiny and legal permission plan,” added the lawyer.

GREEK LICENSING PLAN

Greece is expected to double its combined wind and solar capacity from 6.9GW in 2020 to 15GW in 2030, according to ICIS Power Horizon modelling.

On 12 January, the Greek energy ministry unveiled plans for speeding up the renewable licensing regime and investing in new technology in preparation for the closure of coal and lignite plants by 2028.

The energy ministry said the second phase of simplification and acceleration of the renewable licensing process is set to be completed in the first half of 2021.

RAE’s new electronic platform has already issued licences for 6.1GW total renewable capacity.

The new platform, announced on 26 November, is aiming to expedite the licensing process, allowing a potential investor to get a renewable production licence as soon as possible.

The platform is part of a package of long-term measures aimed at liberalising Greece’s renewable sector.

Last May, the Greek government adopted a new environmental bill aimed at easing the renewable licensing procedure. The bill offers to replace the existing electricity production licences for renewable projects with a producer certificate.