RES groups want rule changes to enable repowering, offering yield boosts

Renewable energy associations and investors have called for legal and regulatory framework revisions that would facilitate repowering, or the replacement of old RES equipment at wind and solar energy parks with upgraded modern technology offering far higher yields.

Prime RES locations around Greece are occupied by installations that date back ten to 20 years and are producing yields well below the potential promised by modern technology.

Aristotelis Hantavas, Enel Green Power’s head official for Europe and president of the Solar Power Europe association, spoke extensively on the matter at a recent industry conference.

“If repowering is facilitated, the country can, in a short period of time, cover one third or possibly half of the ground that remains to be covered to reach the 2030 goal without needing to open up many new wind and solar energy areas, a development that prompts reaction by local authorities, amongst others,” Hantavas pointed out.

The installation of modern wind and solar energy systems in place of older technologies could boost yields by up to three times, experts believe.

This does not necessarily mean investors will secure fixed tariffs as remuneration for any additional capacity installed. RES sector officials believe remuneration will still be based on older agreements for the remainder of their terms.

Once existing contracts have expired, investors should expect to be remunerated for any additional capacity offered by their upgrades through target model markets.

According to current regulations, capacity increases at sites hosting existing solar or wind energy parks are limited to 10 percent.

Also, investors are not permitted to sell RES output through more than one market channel, for example, through tariffs for one part of production and two-way agreements for the rest.

Repowering is currently being widely discussed around Europe, especially in countries with extended renewable energy backgrounds.


Authority issues new wave of RES licenses for 27 projects, 491 MW

RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, has just issued 27 RES producer certificates for as many projects, taking the tally of this new certificate, part of the government’s RES licensing simplification process, to 33.

The authority issued a first wave of new producer certificates towards the end of last month.

The 27 new producer certificates, issued by RAE yesterday, concern eight wind energy parks offering a total capacity of 171.15 MW, 17 solar energy projects with a total capacity of 318.48 MW, and two small-scale hydropower projects offering 2.1 MW, their overall capacity being 491.73 MW.

Four photovoltaic facilities planned by Consortium Solar Power in central Greece’s Fthiotida and Larissa areas, totaling 284 MW, are standout projects in terms of scale.

Enel Green Power was also well presented in this licensing round with a total of six projects, all solar, three of these in Xanthi, northeastern Greece, totaling 7.07 MW, and one each in Rodopi (2.72 MW), Kozani (3.6 MW) and Ioannina (1.99 MW).

As for the two small-scale hydropower projects just issued licenses, one, offering a capacity of 1.54 MW, belongs to the Koryfi K2 Energiaki company, the other, 0.6 MW, to Hydroilektriki.

Enel wants to invest in energy storage if framework is right

Italy’s Enel Green Power is interested in proceeding with further investments in Greece, more specifically, in the energy storage sector, if the government shapes a suitable institutional framework, company CEO Antonio Cammisecra has noted.

“We regard Greece as an investment destination,” Cammisecra told journalists yesterday during the opening ceremony of Enel’s wind energy complex, Greece’s largest such project, on the island Evia, slightly northeast of Athens, and one of Europe’s biggest.

Legal framework concerning energy storage has remained pending since the tenure of the previous energy minister Giorgos Stathakis.

The new energy ministry and RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, are both currently working on shaping framework for energy storage, expected to be delivered in 2020.

Greece needs to work on simplifying current RES licensing procedures if renewable energy is to gain further ground in the country’s energy mix, Cammisecra, the Enel chief, pointed out during yesterday’s opening ceremony.

“The cost of a specific technology increases over the years for two reasons, firstly because this technology is overtaken by new developments, and secondly because the older it is the less amount of energy it produces,” the Italian official remarked.

Cammisecra described Enel’s wind energy complex on Evia, in the Kafireas region, as a “symbol of persistence”.

Combining seven wind energy parks, the Evia complex is a 300 million-euro investment with a 154-MW capacity covering electricity needs for 130,000 households. CO2 emissions will be reduced by 500,000 tons. This project’s capacity represents 4.5 percent of Greece’s wind park capacity total.

Enel Green Power awards Survey Digital maintenance contract

Italy’s Enel Green Power has once again awarded Survey Digital a maintenance and support contract for its 27.7 MW portfolio of installed Satcon inverters at the Altomonte, Nola, Deruta and Strambino locations, following a tender.

Survey Digital operates as licensed representative of Satcon, an exclusive supplier of parts, and non-exclusive associate for provision of services in Europe.

Survey Digital has offered Enel Green Power these services since 2012 and has now secured at least a further three years.