‘Incentives for battery additions to PVs would free up grid space’

Power grid operator IPTO’s Deputy Chairman, Ioannis Margaris, participating in a panel discussion at yesterday’s second and final day of the Power & Gas Forum in Athens, proposed incentives for behind-the-meter energy storage unit additions to still-unelectrified solar panel installations as a means of making available extra grid capacity for new RES projects.

Efficient use of the grid’s limited capacity is crucial. Authorities have already warned that unless drastic action is taken, the country’s grid capacity is headed towards exhaustion in the coming years.

At present, occupied grid capacity totals 25 GW, 11 GW concerning RES projects already operating and 14 GW concerning active final connection offers, the IPTO deputy noted.

Margaris stressed that grid access in many parts of the country will soon become unavailable given the large number of RES project connection applications submitted by investors to IPTO.

Stricter terms limiting the duration of connection offers for stagnant projects, a measure that was recently ratified in Parliament as part of a multi-bill submitted by the energy ministry, will help free up valuable grid capacity, the IPTO deputy stressed.

Also taking part in the forum’s panel discussion, Dr. Stavros Papathanasiou, Professor at the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), agreed that a solution concerning the addition of energy storage units to RES projects will, sooner or later, need to be adopted.

Adding behind-the-meter batteries to solar panel systems, either under development or already operating, is the only option to avoid big project cuts as the objective is to accommodate as many RES units as possible into the grid’s limited capacity, the professor stressed.

Battery additions will, of course, increase the cost of solar energy projects, but this increase should not add more than 15 to 20 euros per MWh to the cost of electricity produced by each project, assuming batteries with a duration of between 0.5 and one hour are installed, Papathanasiou informed.