April 22, 2020 Read More →

Greek utility unit moves forward with country’s first subsidy-free solar development

PV Magazine:

The transformation of Greek renewable energy laggard the Public Power Corporation (PPC) has continued with news the utility’s PPC Renewables arm has won tenders to develop the nation’s largest solar cluster and is planning Greece’s first unsubsidized PV project.

The renewables division of the state-owned power company is planning a subsidy-free 50 MW solar plant in the Megalopoli coal mining region of the Peloponnese peninsula.

“The idea is PPC Renewables’ subsidy-free plant [will] generate electricity that would sell [to] the parent company, the PPC,” said Konstantinos Mavros, who was appointed chief executive of PPC Renewables in September.

The electric utility, Greece’s largest corporation, accounts for around 70% of the domestic electricity retail market but holds a much smaller chunk of the power generation mix. Until recently, the debt-saddled company followed a fossil fuel-driven business plan but a change at the top has seen the utility pivot towards clean energy with the aim of PPC Renewables developing sufficient facilities for the business to hold more generation assets.

Mavros said the purchase tariff the PPC will pay its renewables subsidiary for the power generated at Megalopoli was still under negotiation but told pv magazine: “The subsidy-free plant in Megalopoli will serve to prove our concept. Once this is proven, PPC Renewables can take the lead and transform the company, the energy market and our economy.”

Parent company PPC plans to install 3 GW of solar capacity on former coal mines, with the nation pledged to end coal use by 2028 at the latest. Some 2 GW of solar projects, including the latest 200 MW facility, are planned in Ptolemaida, in the Kozani region of northern Greece, with a further gigawatt earmarked for the Peloponnese.

[Ilias Tsagas]

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