Environmental permit bid by Eunice for 106 turbines on 14 islets rejected

The energy ministry’s environmental division has rejected an environmental permit application submitted by Kykladitika Meltemia, a member of the Eunice Energy Group, for an investment plan entailing the installation of 106 wind turbines, promising a total capacity of 486 MW, on 14 uninhabited islets in the Aegean Sea.

The company submitted its environmental permit application in November, 2018 for its project, dubbed Aegean. Many months of public consultation on the project’s environmental impact plan followed before the ministry’s decision to reject the Kykladitika Meltemia application was eventually announced yesterday.

The company’s environmental permit application was rejected as the proposed project’s environmental repercussions were deemed significant, meaning environmental neutrality at the project’s various sites could not be assured, the ministry explained, citing a related EU directive.

The project’s spatial plan overlaps into a total of 16 Natura 2000 protected zones, the ministry noted.

Brussels forwards new PCI list, to be finalized late this year

The European Commission’s fifth PCI (Projects of Common Interest) list in the electricity and natural gas sectors, being forwarded for public consultation, features, for now, a number of project additions and removals, compared to the previous edition.

Market officials and state authorities will have the opportunity to offer their views and observations over the consultation procedure’s twelve-week period before the European Commission adopts a finalized version of the fifth PCI list towards the end of 2021, based on an existing Trans-European Networks for Energy (TEN-E) framework, focused on linking the energy infrastructure of EU countries.

PCI projects are entitled to EU funding support. Brussels authorities introduced selection criteria revisions in December, ascertaining, however, that the impact of all projects, especially on CO2 emissions, will be appraised when finalizing the PCI list’s fifth edition.

The provisional list includes a number of electricity and gas sector projects concerning Greece.

Electricity-sector projects involving Greece include: a Bulgarian-Greek grid interconnection, expected to be completed in 2023; an Egyptian-Greek-Libyan grid interconnection headed by Green Power 2020 and scheduled for delivery in 2025; as well as three Egypt-Greece interconnections, two of these featuring Kykladika Meltemia SA as project promoter and expected to be respectively completed in 2025 and 2028, and a third headed by Elica SA and scheduled for completion in 2028.

An energy storage project planned by Eunice for Ptolemaida, northern Greece, and scheduled for completion in 2022 is a new entry on the PCI list.

In the natural gas sector, the PCI list includes: the Alexandroupoli FSRU (2022); a subsea pipeline between Greece and Italy, known as the Poseidon Pipeline (2025); EastMed, a pipeline planned to carry natural gas from the east Mediterranean to European markets, via Crete (2025); a compressor station in Thessaloniki’s Nea Mesimvria area (2022); a metering and regulating station in Megalopoli, Peloponnese (2025); a compressor station in Abelia, in Greece’s mid-north (2023); a compressor station in Kipoi, northeastern Greece (2024); a pipeline link for the Alexandroupoli FSRU (2022); a TAP pipeline capacity increase (2025); and the development of an underground gas storage facility (UGS) in the almost depleted natural gas field of “South Kavala” in northern Greece (2023).

JTF plan includes 16 post-lignite projects budgeted at €2.5bn

The total cost of sixteen investment proposals concerning the decarbonization of Greece’s lignite-dependent areas included in the country’s Just Transition Fund plan, just released by the energy ministry for public consultation until October 31, is estimated between 2.3 and 2.5 billion euros.

The plan, offering project description and cost details, includes eleven proposals for west Macedonia, in northern Greece, and five proposals for Megalopoli, in the Peloponnese.

The proposals for west Macedonia include 2-GW solar farm projects by power utility PPC.

The power utility is currently developing a 230-MW solar farm budgeted at 133 million euros.

A Solaris Bus & Coach project for a RES-based hydrogen unit budgeted at one billion euros is also among the eleven proposals for west Macedonia, as is a 250-MW energy storage project by Eunice, to cost 280 million euros.

The five Megalopoli proposals included in Greece’s JTF plan include PPC solar farms with a capacity of 50 MW and budgeted at 250 million euros; a pharmaceutical production facility to cost 90 million euros and create 400 jobs; a smart-technology livestock and animal feed farm budgeted at 40 million euros; a theme park for entertainment and educational purposes to cost 40 million euros; as well as other public-sector investments worth 30 million euros.




OTE, Eunice removals a wider warning for NOME bidders

LAGIE, the Electricity Market Operator, has eliminated two firms, OTE and Eunice, from tomorrow’s NOME auction for insufficient provision of electricity load data, sending a wider message to all participants that monitoring rights will be fully resorted to in order to combat various irregularities and problems.

Both OTE and Eunice described their eliminations as unfair and declared they would appeal.

Some pundits believe these eliminations also serve as warnings for traders believed to be preparing to bid aggressively at tomorrow’s auction for electricity amounts to be exported to markets where wholesale electricity prices are higher.

Aggressive bidding by export-minded traders would force local suppliers to purchase NOME electricity amounts at higher prices offering narrower profit margins for supply activity in the local market.

Besides the role of traders, officials also fear prices at tomorrow’s NOME auction could be boosted to higher levels as a result of the increasing cost of CO2 emission rights and elevated wholesale electricity prices around Europe.

A starting price of 36.34 euros per MWh has been set for tomorrow’s auction, up from the previous level of 32.05 euros per MWh.

Thoughts by officials to introduce new measures limiting NOME-acquired electricity exports, a planned phasing out of the auctions in accordance with the main power utility PPC’s bailout-required disinvestment of lignite units, as well as an uncertainty surrounding the auctions following the target model’s implementation, are all factors expected to impact tomorrow’s session.

Some pundits believe participants will stretch themselves to their limits to acquire the biggest possible electricity amounts tomorrow given the tougher, and uncertain,  NOME conditions ahead.

As for industrial consumers, NOME price levels of between 42 and 43 euros per MWh tomorrow will enable independent energy firms to also enter the high-voltage market and supply small-scale customers. If prices rise to levels of around 47 euros per MWh, then the main power utility PPC’s price levels for industrial consumers will remain more competitive.





Innovative Tilos power supply project to start trial operation

An innovative hybrid project for power generation and supply on the island Tilos, as well as occasional supply to the neighboring jsland Kos, is set to start its trial operation by early February following three years of preparation, ANA-MPA has reported.

A final pending issue was settled on January 16 with the signing of an electricity sale contract between the Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator and EUNICE Energy Group.

The group’s chief Development Officer Zisimos Mantas noted that the development establishes the Tilos Project as the country’s first hybrid station concerning electricity production stemming from renewable sources.

The project combines RES energy production with accumulator storage technology, enabling consumers to be supplied during periods when renewable sources (solar and wind) are insufficient or not available.

The project is comprised of an 800-KW wind turbine, a 160-KW photovoltaic unit, as well as a  battery with a storage capacity of 2.4 megaWatt-hour, able to cover the needs of the island for approximately one and a half day during the low-demand winter period. Demand rises during during the summer months.

It is estimated that the project will cover between 80 to 85 percent of the island’s energy needs throughout the year, while, on certain days, excessive energy will be channelled to the island Kos via an existing underwater interconnection.

Frequent blackouts experienced on the island in the summer are expected to be resolved once this project is launched.

Besides its electricity production and storage system, the project is also equipped with modern systems able to foreast conditions for wind and photovoltaic production. “This will assist us in programing – when to charge or unload the battery” underlined Mantas.