Foreign firms keen to take part in ‘smart islands’ pilot project

Foreign corporate groups appear keen to take part in an upcoming pilot project concerning the development of two smart islands.

The initiative’s objective will be to drastically increase the RES sector’s participation in electricity output to a level of between 60 and 70 percent of total annual demand on these islands and also implement the use of high-tech systems to lower operating costs and support environmetal protection.

The two islands have yet to be determined while the Greek government has yet to announce a related tender.

According to energypress sources, French, Chinese, German and Spanish firms have made early moves seeking preliminary information as they are confident the project will deliver satisfactory investment returns.

The effort’s preparations are at an advanced stage. RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, is expected to stage an international tender for the smart islands projects in 2018. Also, a study being conducted by HEDNO/DEDDIE, the Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator, to include selections of the two participating islands, is scheduled to be completed and delivered to RAE by the end of next month.

Five islands – Amorgos, Patmos, Skyros, Symi and Astypalaia – are currently being considered. Astypalaia is expected to be one of the two.

The energy ministry will decide on the two islands to participate in the smart islands pilot project. Island size will be a key criterion in the selection process. Participating islands will need to be medium-sized, offer production capacities of between 5 and 10 MW, high fuel consumption levels at present, as well as low RES penetration levels.

Once the two islands are chosen by the energy ministry RAE will launch an international tender.

Hybrid power stations with RES units are expected to be developed on the two islands to be selected. These facilities will be combined with an appropriate storage system and a high-tech energy network management system.

Investors stand to make their profit from the sale of electricity produced by the projects they have developed.