PPC Renewables, Germany’s RWE aim for business deal by end of year

PPC Renewables, a power utility PPC subsidiary, and RWE, Germany’s biggest power producer, have set an objective to develop a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the two sides last March into a realistic business agreement by the end of this year.

A team of RWE officials, completing a three-day working visit to Greece today, visited northern Greece’s west Macedonia region, a lignite-dependent area, for on-site inspections of areas offering investment interest to the German company.

Besides new projects, RWE is also keen to take on projects already being developed by other companies.

Details seen fostering the development of the MoU into a business plan, including project financing prospects and the establishment of working groups, were addressed by the two sides.

The visiting German team also held a meeting, yesterday, with the leadership of the development and investment ministry and the energy ministry’s secretary-general Alexandra Sdoukou.

The length of time required in Greece for RES licenses was discussed, as were financial incentives promised through the fair transition fund, an EU plan to support green economy transitions.

PPC Renewables OKs terms for Motor Oil joint venture, a 100-MW wind farm

The board at PPC Renewables has approved the fundamental terms of a prospective agreement with Motor Oil for the development and construction of a 100-MW wind farm on one of the Greek islands, still unspecified, energypress sources have informed.

On another front, PPC Renewables yesterday announced a tender for the construction of a 50-MW solar energy complex project in Megalopoli, Peloponnese, whose budget is estimated at 30.7 million euros, not including VAT.

The winning bidder, to be selected through an online auction scheduled for September 30, will be tasked with the Megalopoli project’s design, procurement, transportation of materials and installation of the project’s two parks and substation.

The Megalopoli project will be comprised of two solar energy parks, one with an 11-MW capacity, the other 39 MW.

The project’s 11-MW section recently secured a tariff of 49.11 euros per MWh at an auction staged by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy. The 39-MW section will operate within the target model’s framework, through two-way power purchase agreements with power utility PPC, PPC Renewables’ parent company.

Meanwhile, preliminary procedures are progressing rapidly for the development of another PPC Renewables-PPC solar energy project, in northern Greece’s Ptolemaida region, until now a lignite-dependent local economy. This project’s planned capacity, 230 MW, makes it one of Europe’s biggest solar energy projects. The project promises to play an important role in Greece’s decarbonization effort.

Work began last month on two smaller 15-MW units to represent part of the overall 230-MW project. Work on the main 200-MW section is expected to commence in January.

Over 300 jobs are expected to be created for the Ptolemaida project’s construction needs, offering vital support for the local economy.

Germany’s ABO Wind dominates RES auction’s PV category

Germany’s ABO Wind was the most dominant bidder at Greece’s latest RES auction, earlier this week, securing approximately one third of the photovoltaic section’s total capacity for five 10-MW projects in Igoumenitsa, northwestern Greece, according to a PV-Magazine report.

The German energy group submitted the auction’s lowest bids, 0.04586, 0.04587 and 0.04883 euros per KWh.

Wind energy projects secured a far greater total capacity than photovoltaics at the auction, 481 MW compared to 142 MW. Also, photovoltaics registered new record-low tariff prices for the Greek market.

Heliotherma secured tariffs for two solar energy parks of 11.9 MW each in Thiva, northwest of Athens at prices of 0.053 euros per KWh. Metka secured tariffs for four projects representing a total capacity of 11 MW.

Other successful bidders included PPC Renewables, securing tariffs for an 11-MW solar park, part of a planned 50-MW complex, in Megalopoli, Peloponnese.

The auction’s highest tariff price was 0.06245 euros per KWh, while the average was 0.04981 euros per KWh. A total of 39 projects secured tariffs at the auction.

Tariff prices for the auction’s wind energy section ranged from 0.05386 euros per KWh to 0.0577 euros per KWh.

Five bidders vying for PPC Renewables’ Kozani giant solar park

Five bidding teams, including Greek and foreign partnerships, are vying for the construction contract of PPC Renewables’ 200-MW solar energy park in Kozani, northern Greece, one of Europe’s biggest, energypress sources have informed.

A tender has been completed but the announcement of the winning bidder is expected to take some time.

The 200-MW solar park represents the biggest section of a three-part complex with a total capacity of 230 MW planned by PPC Renewables for the Kozani area.

PPC Renewables is scheduled to sign a contract tomorrow with Metka, a member of the Mytilineos group, concerning the construction of the first of these three units, a 15-MW facility.

Terna Energy, the winning bidder of the overall project’s other smaller-scale unit, also 15 MW, is expected to sign its contract with PPC Renewables by the end of this month.

The total budget for the project’s three sections amounts to 130 million euros, of which 110 million euros concern the 200-MW facility.

On another front, PPC Renewables plans to launch another tender by July 28 for a 50-MW solar park in Megalopoli, Peloponnese.

For this facility, PPC Renewables will not seek fixed tariffs through RES auctions staged by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, but, instead, operate the unit based on target model rules, through two-party power purchase agreements (PPAs) with electricity buyers.

Ilektor named PPC Renewables partner for geothermal fields

PPC Renewables has named Ilektor, a member of the Ellaktor group, as its strategic partner for development of four geothermal fields in Greece following the completion of an older international tender that had remained stagnant.

Ilektor emerged as the highest bidder, followed by Terna Energy, for the utilization of geothermal fields in Lesvos, the Milos-Kimolos-Polyaigos island complex, Nisyros and Methana to generate electricity.

A license held by PPC Renewables’ parent company, power utility PPC, offering exclusive exploration and production rights for these geothermal fields, was recently extended by the Greek State.

Ilektor, the strategic partner, will be given a majority stake in an SPV formed by PPC Renewables for this project.

The SPV will take on financing, construction and operation of geothermal field-linked power stations with capacities of 8 MW for Lesvos and 5 MW for each of the three other areas.

PPC Renewables aims to begin geothermal exploration activities at the Milos-Kimolos-Polyaigos group of islands by the end of this year, when it is believed local communities will have been informed and offered their consent.

According to the project’s schedule, a power station fed by the Milos-Kimolos-Polyaigos field should be ready to operate by 2025.

Development of the Lesvos, Nisyros and Methana fields will be left for later on.


PPC, Terna, Copelouzos resume talks for Crete RES partnership

Power utility PPC has resumed talks with Terna Energy and the Copelouzos group for a consortium to develop RES projects on Crete, but work is still needed if institutional complications are to be resolved.

The plan’s viability will depend on whether the consortium – if formed – can secure a contract with power grid operator IPTO to ensure a capacity reservation in the prospective Crete-Athens grid interconnection.

Approximately three years ago, Terna Energy and the Copelouzos group decided to merge two respective wind-energy projects covering Crete’s four prefectures, which took their combined capacity total to 950 MW, in order to facilitate an EU funding effort.

PPC also entered the picture just months ago, prior to the pandemic’s outbreak, for talks on the establishment of a three-member consortium. PPC Renewables, a PPC subsidiary, possesses wind-energy capacity on Crete.

The prospective venture planned by the trio entails transmission and sale to the mainland of 1 GW generated by wind-energy facilities. Each partner would hold a 33.3 percent stake in this venture.



Metka, Terna winning bidders for PPC Renewables 15-MW Kozani units

PPC Renewables has reached decisions to award two development contracts for respective 15-MW solar parks in the Kozani area, northern Greece, to Metka, a member of the Mytilineos group, and Terna, following two tenders, nearing finalization within the next few days, energypress sources have informed.

The imminent signing of these development contracts will signal the first steps in the development, by PPC Renewables, of a wider 230-MW solar energy complex, Greece’s biggest to date and one of Europe’s largest.

Construction work for the two 15-MW solar parks is expected to commence this coming summer, PPC Renewables anticipates.

The Kozani project will be spread across lignite mine locations operated by PPC Renewables’ parent company PPC, the power utility.

The 15-MW solar park to be developed by Metka will be equipped with its own sub-station and stationary mounts holding solar panels in a fixed position. This project’s total cost is estimated at just under 10 million euros.

The other 15-MW solar park project, to be constructed by Terna, will also be equipped with its own sub-station but, instead of fixed-position panels, will feature solar trackers, orienting panels toward the sun. This project will cost a total of approximately 11.5 million euros.

A tender for the Kozani project’s biggest segment, a 200-MW solar park, is still in progress. The deadline for bids has been slightly extended to June 11. Some 30 companies, Greek and foreign, have expressed major interest. Most are expected to submit bids.

PPC Renewables expects to have doubled its current installed RES capacity by the second half of 2021, up to 300 MW, according to the company’s chief executive Konstantinos Mavros.

A 600-MW installed capacity target has been set for the end of 2022. Looking further ahead, PPC Renewables is striving for a 1.5-GW total five years from now.

Motor Oil, PPC Renewables in talks for major wind energy park

Talks between PPC Renewables and the Motor Oil Hellas group for joint development, installation and operation of an island-based wind energy farm with a capacity of approximately 100 MW have reached an advanced stage, sources have informed.

The project’s feasibility, however, will depend on the development of a grid interconnection with the mainland system.

PPC Renewables and Motor Oil are currently examining details concerning the prospective wind farm’s sustainability, interconnection and financing. Once they have reached conclusions, the two sides will decide on whether to proceed with the project.

PPC Renewables and Motor Oil have already joined forces to express first-round interest in a tender offering a stake in DEPA Trade, a new entity established by gas utility DEPA.

PPC Renewables has set as a strategic objective the formation of partnerships with domestic and foreign players for new projects not included in the existing portfolio of parent company PPC, the power utility. PPC Renewables intends to develop these new projects without involvement by PPC.

The company’s wind energy park plan with Motor Oil could serve as a base for more projects involving the two sides.

PPC Renewables has already planned a series of collaborations with foreign partners, including Germany’s RWE, UAE group Masdar Taaleri Generation  D.O.O. (MTG), as well as EDP Renoveis, a Portuguese company with a Chinese main shareholder. PPC Renewables is striving to have developed RES projects with a total capacity of 1.5 GW by 2024.

Motor Oil has made clear its plan to broaden its portfolio with emphasis on green energy. The refining group wants to establish a solid presence in the renewable energy market through acquisitions and partnerships.

Motor Oil has already completed two acquisitions, a wind-energy purchase from Stefaner and a solar energy project acquisition from Metka EGN, a member of the Mytilineos group.


RES auction produces record-low bid, by PPC Renewables

A mixed RES auction staged yesterday by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, produced a record-low bid of 49.11 euros per MWh, submitted by PPC Renewables for a 200-MW solar park in Kozani, northern Greece.

A total of five major RES projects – four solar farms and one wind energy farm – secured tariffs at the session.

The auction’s average bidding price was 51.59 euros per MWh, far lower than previous levels.

The session’s only wind energy project, ENTEKA’s 153-MW facility in Vermio, northern Greece, struck a record low price, for the wind-energy category, of 54.7 euros per MWh. This project involves funding from US fund Quantum Energy Partners.

A 70-MW solar park project on EREN’s portfolio secured a price of 50.68 euros per MWh. A 42-MW park by EDF emerged from the session with a price of 50.87 euros per MWh. Also, Spes Solaris, a member of the Panagakos corporate group, secured a price of 54.82 euros per MWh for a 37.94-MW solar park project.

Four projects – two solar and two wind – failed to secure prices. ENTEKA missed out with two wind farm projects measuring 72 MW and 63 MW. A 50-MW solar park by PPC Renewables and a 23-MW solar park by EDF also missed out.


PPC Renewables moving ahead with investment plans despite crisis

PPC Renewables, a subsidiary of power utility PPC, has, for the time being, remained unperturbed by the extremely adverse investment conditions prompted by the coronavirus pandemic and moved ahead with green energy project plans.

The company has completed tenders offering development contracts for a 5-MW hydropower facility in Karditsa, mainland Greece, as well as the first 15-MW stage of a 230-MW solar park in Ptolemaida, northern Greece.

The winning bidders of both contracts should be announced around late April or early May, barring unexpected developments.

PPC Renewables has already launched a second tender for the Ptolemaida solar park, once again offering a development contract for 15 MW, ahead of the 230-MW project’s main tender, for 200 MW, expected in mid-April.

The company secured a price of 49.11 euros per MWh for its Ptolemaida project at an auction staged today by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy.

During its construction stages, the Ptolemaida project is expected to create at least 300 jobs, while, when completed, the facility should generate 390,000 MWh, enough to cover the needs of 290,000 persons.

PPC Renewables is expected to be among the first companies to induct projects into the Target Model, in other words, contracts with consumers whose prices will no longer be determined at auctions staged by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy.

PPC plans to launch RWE joint venture with 300-400 MW in projects

Power utility PPC plans to develop RES projects with a capacity of 300 to 400 MW as a first step in a prospective joint venture with Germany’s RWE. The two sides signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Berlin yesterday.

RWE also plans to add projects to the joint venture, either through license purchases or acquisitions of existing projects around Greece, a procedure expected to start soon.

A joint venture in the form of an SPV offering its partners a 51-49 percent share is expected to be established.

Projects currently in PPC subsidiary PPC Renewables’ portfolio are planned to be brought into the joint venture with RWE along with a fraction of new solar energy projects – totaling 2 GW – envisioned by the power utility for development at Greece’s lignite-dependent west Macedonia region.

PPC does not intend to include in the joint venture a new 230-MW solar energy project planned to be developed independently by PPC Renewables in three sections.

At present, the PPC Renewables portfolio consists of completed RES projects totaling 150 MW, 100 MW in projects under construction, as well as 280 MW in projects either licensed or about to be licensed.

RWE, according to a second section of the MoU, will offer guidance to PPC for its decarbonization effort.


RWE, to invest €1bn in Greek RES market, signing MoU today

German energy group RWE intends to invest approximately one billion euros in Greece’s renewable energy market over the next few years.

Details of the investment plan will be included in a Memorandum of Understanding expected to be signed today by the company heads of the German group and Greek power utility PPC at a Greek-German economic forum in Berlin.

RWE’s investment plan includes providing PPC expertise for its decarbonization effort. A prospective conversion of an existing PPC lignite-fired power station into a biomass facility, as well as joint investments in solar and wind energy projects with PPC subsidiary PPC Renewables are among the projects listed in the investment plan.

German renewable energy investment interest is focused on solar and wind energy projects. Other related technologies such as offshore wind facilities, as had been reported in the past, are not being considered.

RWE chief executive Rolf Martin Schmitz had informed Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis of the German energy group’s interest to invest and provide knowhow at a meeting in Germany last October.

Between 2012 and 2018, RWE reduced its CO2 emissions by 60 million tons, a 30 percent reduction. The group, looking to be fossil fuel-free by 2040, will focus on further development in the RES and energy storage domains, an investment effort estimated at 1.5 billion euros. Germany has pledged to be carbon-free by 2038.

PPC Renewables set for second of three Ptolemaida PV unit tenders

PPC Renewables plans to announce a tender next week for the development of a 15-MW solar energy project, the second of three sections making up a bigger 230-MW photovoltaic project planned for Ptolemaida, northern Greece.

The renewable energy firm, a wholly owned subsidiary of power utility PPC, has already forwarded all relevant information concerning this tender to the European Commission for publication on its official website.

A tender has already been staged for an initial 15-MW package. As for the project’s third and final package, by far the biggest, 200 MW, PPC Renewables intends to stage a tender for its development by summer.

During its construction stages, the project is expected to create at least 300 jobs, while, when completed, the facility should generate 390,000 MWh, enough to cover the needs of 290,000 persons.

PPC Renewables is expected to be among the first companies to induct projects into the Target Model, in other words, two-sided contracts with consumers whose prices will no longer be determined at auctions staged by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy.

PPC Renewables’ portfolio currently totals 150 MW of completed energy projects, while RES projects representing a further 100 MW are now under construction. In addition, tenders for 280 MW have either been announced or will be announced. This additional 280-MW capacity includes the Ptolemaida project, expected to require between 24 and 36 months for completion.

Combined RES auction to be dominated by solar energy projects

Solar energy projects are expected to dominate a combined RES auction planned for April 2 by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, reflecting heightened investment interest in the PV sector of late. The April session’s application deadline expires tomorrow.

The level of investor interest for solar projects had overshadowed that of wind projects at a recent inaugural combined auction.

The total capacity for solar energy project applications is expected to be big, especially if PPC Renewables submits an application for a 200-MW solar energy park plan in Kozani, northern Greece, as the firm had also done in the previous combined RES auction.

PPC Renewables is expected to submit an application for another of its project plans, a 50-MW solar energy plant in Megalopoli, Peloponnese.

RES project investors will be offered a total of 600 MW at April’s combined RES auction following a 100-MW capacity increase granted by the energy ministry.

However, this 600-MW will only be offered in full if application capacities exceed the tally by 40 percent for a total of 840 MW.

The April auction’s starting price has been set at 61.32 euros per MWh.

A number of combined RES auctions have been staged in various parts of Europe over the past couple of years, the objective being to cover energy needs at the lowest possible price.

The cost of PV equipment has fallen sharply and is continuing to fall, enabling PV auction participants to bid more competitively.

However, license procedure bureaucracy remains a problem, especially for wind projects, slowing down maturity. Greek market investors are waiting for the government to deliver on a promise to simplify RES licensing procedures.




PPC Renewables tender for major solar energy farm in spring

PPC Renewables, a wholly-owned subsidiary of power utility PPC, plans to stage a tender in spring for a major solar energy project in northern Greece’s Ptolemaida area, which, when completed, promises to rank among Europe’s biggest.

The project will offer a total capacity of 230 MW,  create at least 300 jobs during construction and, once launched, generate 390,000 MWh capable of covering the needs of approximately 290,000 consumers, energypress sources informed.

The overall project will be comprised of three packages – two small units totaling 30 MW whose tenders have either already been launched or are about to be announced within the next few weeks; as well as a major 200-MW facility whose tender is being planned for spring by PPC Renewables.

At present, PPC Renewables’ portfolio consists of 150 MW in completed RES projects and a further 100 MW under construction, while a further 280 MW, including the 230-MW project, will soon be added.

The Ptolemaida project is expected to require between 24 to 36 months to complete.

Drastic changes to reshape energy sector by end of 2020

Major developments in Greece’s energy sector, from lignite to natural gas, renewable energy, energy efficiency, as well as the geopolitical effects, promise a drastic reshape of the sector over the next year.

A first batch of power utility PPC’s existing lignite-fired power stations will have ceased operating as part of a plan for a full withdrawal by the end of 2023. PPC will have a reduced number of employees on its payroll. This will have positively impacted the utility’s profit figures.

Also, a first round of major renewable energy projects expected to be launched by PPC subsidiary PPC Renewables through partnerships, as part of the parent company’s wider turn to green energy, will intensify competition in the renewable energy market.

Furthermore, this time next year, assets currently belonging to gas utility DEPA, both in trade and infrastructure, may have been transferred to new owners. This development promises to reshape the entrepreneurial map as the private sector’s dominance will be absolute.

In the retail market, the number of players is expected to have diminished as a result of a new round of takeovers and mergers, amid heightened competition, as was also the case in telecommunications in the recent past.

In addition, Greece’s energy exchange will have clocked up several months of operations by the end of the year. Its arrival will intensify competition, remove market distortions and allow dormant potential to be realized through coupling with neighboring markets.

By the end of 2020, the TAP gas pipeline will have begun delivering its first orders of Azeri gas to Europe, the Greek-Bulgarian IGB gas pipeline will be nearing completion, while procedures leading to the development of the Alexandroupoli FSRU and an underground gas storage facility in the offshore area south of Kavala will have made progress.

Without a doubt, Greece’s energy sector appears to be waking up to the new reality, leaving behind anachronistic perceptions and embracing the green energy revolution. The country is now adopting new ways implemented by the overwhelming majority of European territories two decades earlier.


PPC Renewables planning PV parks at depleted lignite fields

PPC Renewables, a subsidiary of power utility PPC, is looking to develop major-scale solar energy parks at its depleted lignite fields in northern Greece’s west Macedonia region as well as Megalopoli, in the Peloponnese.

The subsidiary, given – by PPC chief executive Giorgos Stassis – the challenging task of materializing PPC’s ambitious turn to renewable energy, has submitted applications to RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, for solar energy production permits with a total capacity of approximately 1,500 MW.

These applications, submitted to RAE during the first ten-day period of December, promise to add to PPC’s portfolio of existing RES units, totaling 4.5 GW.

The maturity levels of existing PPC Renewables units range from premature to operating. The PPC board is currently involved in talks with Greek and foreign corporate groups for the establishment of consortiums to develop many of these existing projects.

New partnerships along the lines of a deal lined up between PPC Renewables and Masdar Taaleri Generation (MTG) will soon be announced, sources informed.

PPC plans to have constructed RES projects offering a further capacity of roughly 1 GW by 2024 from a portfolio of already-licensed projects totaling approximately 6 GW.

Besides PPC, hiring, pay limits to also be eased at subsidiaries

Besides the power utility PPC, rigid recruitment regulations set by ASEP, the Supreme Council for Civil Personnel Selection, will also be eased for subsidiaries DEDDIE/HEDNO, the distribution network operator, and PPC Renewables.

The new terms, to also include a relaxation of remuneration and procurement restrictions, are part of a wide-reaching draft bill to be presented by the energy ministry’s leadership at a Ministerial Council meeting today.

The energy ministry is determined to distance both PPC and its subsidiaries from bailout-related restrictions imposed on public-sector enterprises.

However, the draft bill will not include privatization-plan details for DEDDIE, whose model and procedures will be shaped within the framework of a new PPC business plan being prepared and expected to be completed within December, sources informed.

A finalized decision has been reached on gas utility DEPA’s privatization plan. The corporation will be split into two new entities, DEPA Trade and DEPA Infrastructure, and the Greek State’s entire 65 percent stake will be privatized. Hellenic Petroleum ELPE controls DEPA’s remaining 35 percent.

Also, DEPA’s international projects will be removed from the utility and incorporated into a new autonomous state-controlled company. The gas utility’s international projects include its stakes in the IGB and Poseidon pipelines, plus Memorandums of Cooperation and agreements, such as the Alexandroupoli FSRU plan.

The draft bill does not appear to include any terms on the futures of DEPA employees and sub-contracted staff members.

Appointment of new PPC Renewables chief ends PPC takeover plan

PPC Renewables, a power utility PPC subsidiary, has appointed Konstantinos Mavros, possessing vast experience in the renewable energy sector, as its new chief executive.

The appointment of a RES sector expert as new PPC Renewables boss signals a decision by PPC’s new administration to stop the parent company’s takeover of the subsidiary, as was planned by the previous PPC leadership.

As a result, PPC Renewables will remain autonomous and be reinforced for a leading green energy role.

Unlike PPC, under financial pressure, PPC Renewables is in robust condition.

Mavros’ appointment as chief executive signals PPC’s strategic objective for dynamic growth in the RES sector, PPC boss Giorgos Stassis noted.

The new PPC Renewables boss is backed by vast international experience in energy, infrastructure, finance and technology. He has worked in the renewable energy sector for many years and is a co-founder of Velocity. Partners, a venture capital fund supported by the European Investment Fund.

Mavros holds a MSc Finance from Imperial College London and has completed post-graduate programs in finance and energy at Harvard Business School.



Banks blocking PPC plan for absorption of PPC Renewables

Banks lending vital amounts to the main power utility PPC are believed to be preventing the utility from proceeding with a plan to absorb its wholly-owned subsidiary PPC Renewables as they consider this entity’s renewable energy business prospects favorable and do not want it to become a part of the troubled parent company, sources have informed.

PPC recently needed to secure a 200 million-euro bank loan as part of the effort to service an upcoming 350 million euro bond payment.

Late last November, the power utility’s board reached a decision to absorb PPC Renewables by December 31, 2018, but this has not happened.

Banks have not imposed any restrictions on PPC Renewables’ shares as the parent company has fought hard to prevent them from being used as collateral but the subsidiary’s independence was set as a condition for PPC’s borrowing ability.

Meanwhile, a PPC plan for the establishment of a new business development division whose tasks will include spurring RES sector growth has unsettled PPC Renewables employees as they have been excluded from prospective posts to be created by this initiative.

As a result, PPC Renewables employees, in an unprecedented move, have announced a work stoppage for today, and threaten to take further strike action.


Eight mixed auction applications submitted, 456 MW offered

Prospective participants of Greece’s first mixed RES auction, scheduled for April 15 and designed to place wind and solar energy investors in the same bidding arena with equal terms for intensified competition, submitted eight applications representing a total capacity of 637.78 MW on the recent March 21 deadline.

This means that a total capacity of 456 MW will be offered to bidders instead of the entire 600-MW amount announced by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, as a result of a regulation designed to intensify competition.

The total amount requested through the applications would have needed to exceed the 600-MW total by 40 percent if the full amount were to be offered at the upcoming auction.

Confirming previous energypress reports, the overwhelming majority of applications concern solar energy projects.

Authorities are now processing applications to determine the eligibility of interested parties interested in taking part in April’s mixed RES auction.

Solar or wind energy projects over 20 MW, PV projects that have qualified for fast-track procedures, as well as mixed wind-and-solar projects to be jointly connected to the grid are all eligible for participation at the forthcoming mixed auction.

A 200-MW solar energy park project planned by PPC Renewables in Kozani, northern Greece, another 200-MW solar energy project planned by JUWI Hellas, as well as two projects totalling 104 MW and planned by Spes Solaris, a member of the Panagakos group, are among the major projects expected to take part in the mixed RES auction. The two Spes Solaris projects are fast-track procedure qualifiers.

New wind turbine connections to grid rise by 7.2% in 2018

A total of 103 new wind turbine facilities with a combined capacity of 191.6 MW were connected to the country’s grid in 2018, a 7.2 percent year-on-year increase, the ELETAEN figures showed, according to latest data released by ELETAEN, the Greek Wind Energy Association.

EREN, the renewable energy group founded and headed by Greek-French entrepreneur Paris Mouratoglou, has emerged as a new entry in Greece’s top-five list of RES investors with investments offering a total capacity of 210.9 MW, a 7.5 percent market share.

EREN, which recently established a strategic agreement with Total, is now ranked fifth, replacing Enel Green Power, which has dropped to sixth place.

The top-five list’s four other enterprises held their places. Terna Energy leads with 536.1 MW, a 19 percent share; El. Tech Anemos is ranked second with 285.6 MW (10.1%), Iberdrola Rokas is third with 250.7 MW (8.9%); and EDF EN Hellas is placed fourth with 238.2 MW (8.4%)., according to the ELETAEN data.

CF Ventus, a venture of the Fortress Fund, has emerged as Greece’s new RES market arrival following its acquisition of wind energy parks from the Libra group. CF Ventus is continuing to invest in the sector.

Facilities at old wind energy parks with a total capacity of 15.43 MW operated by PPC Renewables, primarily in Crete and the North Aegean, were uninstalled in 2018.  Work on their replacements has already begun.

Vestas continued to dominate Greece’s wind turbine supply market, providing an impressive 78.2 percent of all turbines installed in 2018.

As for the spatial distribution of wind capacity in Greece, the central mainland continues to be ranked first with 907 MW (32%) and is followed by the Peloponnese with 550 MW (19%) and eastern Macedonia-Thrace with 375 MW (13%).


PPC Renewables boss resigns over subsidiary’s absorption

PPC Renewables chief executive Ilias Monaholias has resigned in protest of the subsidiary’s recent absorption by parent company PPC, the main power utility, describing the move as one that jeopardizes the corporation’s growth in the RES sector as well as the continuation of projects in progress and the current business plan.

The resignation comes just days after PPC board member Lazaros Stathakis, citing his disapproval of the subsidiary firm’s absorption by PPC, announced his decision to abandon his post as an executive board member at the end of this month. It is understood he has opted to remain a board member.

Monaholias, who led PPC Renewables over the past two years, stressed he cannot serve a plan he opposes.

The absorption by the parent company will deprive PPC Renewables of versatility and speed, crucial factors for RES growth in the Greek market, Monaholias indicated, while adding that a large part of PPC’s corporate structure has not been friendly towards green investments over the years.

A strategic plan prepared by consulting firm McKinsey for PPC has proposed the continued independence of PPC Renewables as a reinforced and restructured enterprise.



PPC board member quits over PPC Renewables absorption

Main power utility PPC board member Lazaros Stathakis has announced his resignation, citing his objection to the utility’s absorption of subsidiary firm PPC Renewables.

Stathakis, a chemical engineer with a non-PPC background – including posts in Brussels, representing both Greece and the European Commission, private-sector jobs, as well as an eight-month tenure at the Greek privatization fund TAIPED in 2015 – told fellow board members he is not convinced of the move’s necessity, adding it could end up hampering the corporation’s plans for further RES market penetration.

The PPC board approved the parent company’s absorption of PPC Renewables at yesterday’s meeting and described the initiative as vital for the corporation’s growth and investments in the renewable energy market.

According to a strategic plan prepared for PPC by the McKinsey consulting firm, the power utility will need to invest 700 million euros between 2018 and 2022 to secure 25 percent of new RES capacity, totalling approximately 615 MW, to be auctioned off by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy.

Meanwhile, 220 retirement-age PPC employees still working at the power utility have been given an extra month, until January 31, 2019, to sign up for a voluntary retirement offer, including bonuses, the PPC board decided yesterday.


RES sector a vital growth factor, consultant advises PPC

The main power utility PPC needs to invest in the renewable energy domain as a fundamental growth tool, consulting firm McKinsey has advised in a business plan prepared for its client.

PPC should aim for a RES capacity of 2 GW to 2.5 GW between 2030 and 2035; increase its share in this sector from 3 percent to 10 percent by 2022; represent approximately 25 percent of new RES installations for the grid; boost its EBITDA operating profit stemming from renewable energy by a level of between 73 and 84 million euros by 2022; restructure its PPC Renewables subsidiary in terms of ownership and capabilities; and set up a specialized project development team at PPC Renewables.

PPC Renewables must aim for growth not only through PPC-owned projects but also partnership ventures involving the utility’s subsidiary and other firms, the business plan notes.

The plan also calls for 1.5 to 2 billion euros of PV investments for roughly 2.2 GW of additional solar capacity; wind energy investments of 1.8 to 2.4 billion euros for a resulting additional capacity of 1.4 to 1.9 GW, biomass investments worth 1.5 to 2.1 billion euros for 0.6 to 0.8 GW, as well as geothermal investments of 2.4 to 3.2 billion euros for 0.5 to 0.7 GW.

Lesvos, Methana the launch pads for geothermal projects

PPC Renewables plans to start developing two of four geothermal fields to which the company holds exclusive exploration and utilization rights with ventures on the island Lesvos and Methana, a peninsula in northeast Peloponnese.

These starting choices, where geothermal exploration work is believed to be imminent, have a purpose. Locals on Milos and Nisyros, two other spots also being eyed, both object to geothermal development. Back in the 1980s, islanders on Milos strongly reacted against a geothermal development plan, fearing its environmental impact. However, PPC Renewables officials are now hoping this resistance of the past will ease once islanders are fully informed of technological advancements in the sector.

Besides Lesvos and Methana, PPC Renewables also intends to develop geothermal fields on Nisyros, as well as the island complex of Milos, Kimolos and Polyaegos, the Aegean Sea’s largest uninhabited island.

PPC Renewables plans to establish a strategic partnership with Helector SA, a member of the Ellaktor group, for these ventures. Helector, the winning bidder in a related tender, is expected to hold a 51 percent stake in its joint venture with PPC Renewables.

A wholly-owned subsidiary of the main power utility PPC, PPC Renewables is anticipating the signing of a ministerial decision by the energy ministry before it proceeds with the formation of its partnership with Helector.

PPC Renewables plans to develop an 8-MW geothermal power station on Lesvos and 5-MW geothermal facilities at each of the other locations.

Ministry responds to geothermal energy impact concerns

Thirty of thirty-two geothermal fields discovered in Greece so far may be utilized to greatly support production and offer significant energy cost reductions in sectors such as farming, fish farming and processing, the energy ministry has pointed out in response to environmental and tourism sector concerns expressed by a main opposition party MP over plans for geothermal development on the island Nisyros.

The energy potential offered by these geothermal fields, whose enthalpy levels are low, can also be utilized to cover household, school and hospital heating needs, the ministry added in its response to intervention by conservative New Democracy party MP Manos Konsolas, representing the Dodecanese islands.

Despite the geothermal sector’s tremendous potential for development as a renewable energy source, just a small fraction is currently being utilized at present, primarily in fields such as alternative medical tourism, as a result of legislative obstacles, according to the ministry.

A new draft bill prepared by the energy ministry promoting geothermal development is now undergoing public consultation and is soon expected to be submitted to parliament for ratification. It includes strict climate change protection regulations intended to gain the trust of local communities for geothermal utilization as a renewable energy source.

Besides Nisyros, efforts are also being made to utilize geothermal fields at Methana – a peninsula in northeast Peloponnese – Lesvos, as well as the island complex of Milos, Kimolos and Polyaegos, the Aegean Sea’s largest uninhabited island.

Officials at PPC Renewables, behind these efforts, believe the reluctance, if not outright opposition, of residents on some of the islands to the geothermal plan will ease once islanders are fully informed of technological advancements in the sector, preventing environmental impact. Locals reacted back in the 1980s against an initiative for the development of a geothermal field on Milos.




Ellaktor, Terna up bids for PPC Renewables geothermal tender

Two investment schemes, Helector SA, a member of the Ellaktor group, as well as a team comprised of Terna Energy and sister company Terna Aioliki Xerovouniou SA, have improved their binding second-round bids in an international tender staged by PPC Renewables for a strategic partner in the installation of power stations to utilize four geothermal fields.

PPC Renewables, which holds the operating rights to these fields, requested increased bids from the tender’s participants. A supervisory committee is expected, within the next few days, to deliver its results to the PPC Renewables board, which will then decide.

PPC Renewables, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the main power utility PPC, is aiming for swift progress in its quest for a strategic partner and the establishment of a finalized partnership agreement as soon as possible.

PPC Renewables is aiming to utilize geothermal fields at Methana – a peninsula in northeast Peloponnese – the islands Lesvos and Nisyros, as well as the island complex of Milos, Kimolos and Polyaegos, the Aegean Sea’s largest uninhabited island.

PPC Renewables plans to establish a joint venture with its prospective strategic partner to develop geothermal power stations of at least 8 MW on Lesvos and 5 MW at each of the other locations.

PPC Renewables intends to soon launch exploratory drilling procedures at its own expense. These drilling endeavors are planned to run concurrently with the ongoing selection process for a strategic partner.

Officials at PPC Renewables believe the reluctance, if not outright opposition, of residents on some of the islands to the geothermal plan will ease once islanders are fully informed of technological advancements in the sector, preventing environmental impact. Locals reacted back in the 1980s against an initiative for the development of a geothermal field on Milos.





RES prices driven considerably lower at yesterday’s auction

Intense bidding competition pushed prices considerably lower at yesterday’s descending-price RES auctions held by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, offering prices for solar and wind-energy project output.

Three auctions were staged for three sub-categories – small-scale photovoltaic installations of less than one MW; larger-scale PV installations measuring between one and 20 MW; and wind energy installations of between 3 and 50 MW.

The lowest price at the wind energy auction, whose starting price was set at 90 euros per MWh, reached 68 euros per MWh, while the highest price achieved for payment of RES energy production was close to 72 euros per MWh, energypress sources informed.

PPC Renewables, Iberdrola Rokas, Vendavel and a newly arrived foreign firm, which submitted the wind energy sub-category’s lowest bid, were among the participants who secured remuneration prices for output at projects.

At the auction for larger-scale PV installations, whose starting price was set at 80 euros per MWh, the smallest bid reached a level of 63 euros per MWh and the biggest was 71 euros per MWh. Germany’s ABO, whose bids were extremely aggressive, EYDAP, Biokarpet and Dimokritios were among the participants in this category.

Prices in the auction for small-scale PV installations, whose starting price was set at 85 euros, reached as low as 76 euros per MWh.

The top prices reached at yesterday’s three auctions will be used to shape the starting prices of the next RES auction.

Considerable delays that affected the online bidding system towards the end of the session, especially in the auction concerning small-scale PV installations, led to protests by participants who were not able to submit improved bids on time.

A RAE term requiring auction participation registrations to represent amounts exceeding the amounts to be auctioned by at least 75 percent was a key factor behind the intense bidding at yesterday’s session. The objective was to drive down prices for renewable energy output in order to burden consumers as least as possible.

Yesterday’s auction proves that it is realistic to limit the environmental footprint without incurring significant energy cost increases, energy minister Giorgos Stathakis commented following the session.


Ellaktor, Terna left in PPC Renewables geothermal tender

Two investment schemes, Helector SA, a member of the Ellaktor group, as well as a team comprised of Terna Energy and sister company Terna Aioliki Xerovouniou SA, have submitted binding second-round bids to an international tender staged by PPC Renewables for a strategic partner in the installation of power stations to utilize four geothermal fields.

The tender’s deadline for second-round offers expired on June 1. A total of six teams had expressed first-round interest.

Besides Helector and the Terna Energy-Terna Aioliki Xerovouniou team, Enel Green Power Hellas, France’s Storengy, KS Orka from Singapore, as well as Zorlu-Turboden, a Turkish-Italian joint venture, also participated in the first round.

PPC Renewables, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the main power utility PPC, is aiming for swift progress in its quest for a strategic partner and the establishment of a finalized partnership agreement as soon as possible.

PPC Renewables plans to establish a joint venture with its prospective strategic partner to develop geothermal power stations of at least 8 MW on Lesbos and 5 MW at each of the other locations.

PPC Renewables intends to soon launch exploratory drilling procedures at its own expense. These drilling endeavors are planned to run concurrently with the ongoing selection process for a strategic partner.

Officials at PPC Renewables believe the reluctance, if not outright opposition, of residents on some of the islands to the geothermal plan will subside once islanders are fully informed of technological advancements in the sector, preventing environmental impact. Locals reacted back in the 1980s against an initiative for the development of a geothermal field on Milos.