Floating solar panel installations rising, Greek market considered

Companies headquartered in Europe’s north are looking for opportunities to invest in floating solar panel installations over lake, sea and reservoir surfaces around Greece, sources have informed.

Conditions at Greek lakes and seas locations are considered ideal to host such projects, capturing an increasing share of global renewable energy generation as their related technology continues to mature.

Key players are developing floating solar panels projects at various locations around the world, including European and Asian regions.

Germany’s BayWa r.e., developing floating solar panel projects with a total capacity of 52 MW at shallow waters in the Netherlands, is believed to be eyeing the Greek market.

Another major player, Norway’s Statkraft, is currently installing floating solar panels with a 2-MW capacity at a hydropower facility reservoir in Albania.

Portugal’s EDP, which has signed a memorandum of cooperation for renewable energy projects with Greek power utility PPC, and France’s Akuo, present in the Greek market, are both active in the floating solar panel sector.

Floating solar panel solutions are proving to be increasingly popular as their development avoids costs and complications encountered by investors behind  conventional solar projects on land.

The overall capacity of floating solar panel projects soared from 10 MW in 2014 to 1.1 GW in 2018 and is continuing to increase at a rapid rate.


Strong US interest can be expected in local RES market, ambassador tells

American investor interest can be expected to be strong for opportunities in Greece’s renewable energy market, the US Ambassador to Greece, Geoffrey R. Pyatt, has told an American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce event, at its Thessaloniki branch, for the New Year.

Though the ambassador did not elaborate, he presumably had a number of companies in mind.

Tesla has already revealed its interest in the Greek market through a microgrid proposal for the country’s non-interconnected islands dubbed Powerpack. It is based on solar panels and large-capacity batteries. Tesla officials met with Greece’s energy minister Giorgos Stathakis early last month to discuss the issue.

Another highly-ranked US diplomat, speaking on the sidelines of the Thessaloniki event, informed that beyond Tesla, further American interest in Greece’s RES market should also be expected from a major Chicago-based company active in wind energy production and storage. An additional one or two US companies could also enter the picture, according to this diplomat.

Three major companies active in wind energy production and storage are based in Chicago. Acciona, one of the three, has operated two wind energy parks with a total installed capacity of 48.45 MW at the Panachaic mountain range in Greece’s northern Peloponnese since 2006.

Akuo Energy, a French-American venture operating 44 projects in various parts of Europe, is believed to have renewed its interest in Greece’s RES market following activity here in the past.

Invenergy, the third Chicago-based firm, has maintained an office in Athens but shown no signs of any local activity since 2007. Pyatt, the US Ambassador of Greece, recently mentioned visiting the Invenergy headquarters in Chicago last October.