An energy ministry decision, either imminent or already signed, will pave the way for the installation of hybrid RES stations on Crete offering a total capacity of 120 MW, energypress sources have been informed.
This ministerial decision comes as a follow-up to legislation for a support framework concerning the development of RES facilities equipped with energy storage units on the Greek islands, a plan endorsed by the European Commission.
It is divided into three sections. Crete belongs to the framework’s second section, while the plan’s first section includes small islands, such as Gavdos, not planned to be incorporated with the mainland grid through power grid operator IPTO’s interconnection program. The third section of the plan concerns islands now undergoing interconnection procedures.
The 120 MW in hybrid stations to be installed on Crete will receive tariffs determined administratively rather than through auctions, as the island needs to secure energy sufficiency as soon as possible, leaving no time for competitive procedures.
Of Crete’s 120 MW in prospective hybrid stations, four projects offering a total capacity of 84.45 MW lead the race for securing tariffs, as their licensing procedures have reached an advanced stage.
A total of 17 GW in RES project applications have been submitted in 2022, adding to the accumulation of older applications, but the October cycle, which expired last Monday, was subdued, resulting in 179 applications for producer certificates representing 2,504 MW.
Solar energy projects represented the majority of applications submitted in the October cycle, numbering 61 in total for 1,559 MW. Wind energy project applications totaled 79, representing 733 MW, in the October cycle.
A recent trend, confirmed, once again, by the October cycle figures, has shown a preference by solar energy project investors for facilities with greater capacity, compared to the past, while, on the contrary, wind energy projects are becoming smaller.
The October cycle also included 33 applications for small-scale hydropower units totaling 19 MW, 5 applications for hybrid projects representing 191 MW, and 1 biomass application representing 1.5 MW.
Greece’s non-interconnected islands, not including Crete, require hybrid RES systems with a total capacity of between 80 MW and 100 MW, according to a distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO estimate, announced by an operator official at an energy storage event.
Theodora Patsaka, head of DEDDIE/HEDNO’s Island Management Division, also told the event that investment interest is high for such green projects on non-interconnected islands. Investor applications submitted to the operator – before licensing framework revisions – represent a total of 80 MW, she noted.
Hybrid RES systems promise to resolve a series of issues encountered by DEDDIE/HEDNO as operator of the non-interconnected islands, the official noted. Besides offering energy storage solutions, hybrid RES systems will enable full utilization.
A total of 28 electricity systems on the islands have disparities, such as varying electricity demand levels, Patsaka pointed out, while demand levels on the islands differ greatly in winter and summer, increasing the difficulty and cost of ensuring energy sufficiency all year round, she added.
The energy ministry, as a next step to the European Commission’s approval of an operational support scheme for hybrid RES systems, must now complete a related pricing framework, which will unlock the selection process concerning projects to be installed on respective islands, Patsaka added.