PPC Renewables expecting KAS nod for Ptolemaida solar farm projects

PPC Renewables is anticipating approval, today, by Greece’s Central Archaeological Council (KAS) for a large-scale cluster of solar farm projects totaling nearly 1 GW in the Ptolemaida plains of northern Greece, until now mined for their lignite deposits by parent company PPC, the power utility.

KAS has received an application from PPC Renewables for the solar energy projects Pteleonas 1, Pteleonas 2, Kardia 1, Exohi 8 and PPC Ptolemaida Mine A, B, C, D and E.

These projects, promising a total capacity of 960 MW, will be developed over a total land mass measuring 1,830 hectares.

PPC crews and sub-contractors have mined this land for decades, extracting lignite under the surveillance of KAS officials, watchful in the event of any archaeological discoveries.

Given PPC’s preceding mining activities in the region, PPC Renewables’ application for solar farm projects should not encounter any problems with KAS authorities.

Overall, PPC has submitted applications for solar farms in the area totaling 2.5 GW, which, if combined with applications lodged for solar farms in Megalopoli, Peloponnese, total 3 GW.

Energy investment activity rising, focus on RES projects, energy transition

Investment activity in the domestic energy sector is rising with major deals being negotiated, the main focus being on renewables and the energy transition, participants at yesterday’s Delphi Economic Forum made clear.

This activity promises significant growth for all RES technologies, even the more innovative, such as offshore wind farms and energy storage units.

Major energy players are moving to capitalize on opportunities that are emerging as the country pushes ahead with its decarbonization effort. Also, investor talks concerning domestic and international partnerships, the latter promising to secure expertise in sectors such as offshore wind farms, are in progress.

Power utility PPC, moving ahead with RES investments, aims to have launched projects with a total capacity of 1.5 GW by 2023. The utility’s redevelopment plan for the country’s two lignite-dependent regions, Ptolemaida, in the north, and Megalopoli, in the Peloponnese, is in progress.

PPC plans to invest 3.4 billion euros on RES project development in these regions, and an upgrade of their distribution networks, Konstantinos Mavros, chief executive of PPC Renewables, a PPC subsidiary, told the forum.

PPC is also expected to establish partnerships facilitating its entry into the offshore wind market. In addition, the company also aims to have formed a joint venture with German power company RWE by the end of summer for development of RES projects totaling 2 GW.

Elsewhere, energy company Mytilineos is also preparing a strategic alliance with a major international group for its entry into the offshore wind farm sector.

Mytilineos is also close to completing, this year, a major post-lignite investment in natural gas-fueled electricity generation. In addition, the company plans to develop 300 MW in wind farms and 1.5 GW in solar farms over the next two years.

Furthermore, Mytilineos plans to develop 20 energy storage projects, each with 50 MW capacity, by utilizing its immense knowhow gained in this field through involvement in such projects abroad.

Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE) is preparing RES and digital transition projects and will concurrently focus efforts to reduce carbon emissions and develop more eco-friendly products, including biofuels and hydrogen.

The Copelouzos group is nearing an investment decision on the development of a natural gas-fueled power station in Alexandroupoli, northeastern Greece. A decision is expected this summer. The group is currently engaged in talks with neighboring North Macedonia’s power utility for its possible entry into this project as a minority partner.

As for networks, power grid operator IPTO has planned numerous projects as part of a ten-year investment plan worth five billion euros. The operator anticipates new RES project penetration of 17 GW, a forecast exceeding the National Energy and Climate Plan’s goals.

DEDDIE/HEDNO, the distribution network operator, has put together a 3 billion-euro investment plan for the two next regulatory periods, each four years long. Projects include network undergrounding, service upgrades and improvement, new technologies, as well as grid digitalization projects.

PPC Renewables consortium for offshore wind farm projects

PPC Renewables, a subsidiary of power utility PPC, plans to establish a consortium for offshore wind farm investments and is preparing, for this year, a tender for RES projects totaling 100 MW, the subsidiary’s chief executive Konstantinos Mavros (photo) has informed two energy conferences, the 11th Annual Sustainability Forum, organized by Capital Link, and the Athens bourse’s 1st Energy Conference, both held yesterday.

The company head’s update comes as further proof of the power utility PPC group’s intensifying effort for a leading role in the green energy sector.

Offshore wind farm projects demand major investment synergies and “we will seek to establish a consortium” for this purpose, the PPC Renewables chief told the first of the two conferences.

Speaking later at the Athens bourse conference, Mavros also informed that PPC Renewables plans to stage a tender for a total of 100 MW in new RES projects. One of these projects will be a large-scale solar farm, he noted without elaborating. According to energypress sources, PPC Renewables will also develop a big wind farm.

The PPC group is also moving ahead with a plan to establish Greece’s first ever power purchase agreement (PPA), as a RES producer, with industrial consumers. PPC and PPC Renewables plan to establish a PPA in July for 50 MW through a solar farm in Megalopoli, Peloponnese.

Work on PPC Renewables 200-MW solar park starting April

Development of a major-scale 200-MW solar farm planned by PPC Renewables in Ptolemaida, northern Greece, a project budgeted at 110 million euros, is expected to begin in approximately one month.

A series of pre-construction procedures are expected to be completed within the next four weeks, enabling the Mytilineos Group’s METKA EGN, the project’s contractor, to begin work on this project. It represents the biggest part of a 230-MW solar energy project cluster planned by PPC Renewables.

A first 15-MW cluster has already been completed, while a second section representing an equivalent capacity is now being developed and should be ready by autumn.

Work on another big solar farm project planned by PPC for Megalopoli in the Peloponnese, to offer a capacity of 50 MW, is expected to begin in June.

On another front, PPC Renewables is currently working on establishing a major joint venture with Germany’s RWE by July or August.

PPC Renewables and RWE are currently working through a series of matters, including a number of legal issues. RWE will hold a 51 percent stake in this venture.

The two partners plan to equally contribute solar energy projects for a total capacity of 2 GW and a total value of approximately one billion euros, once developed, to this joint venture.

Talks on which projects each partner will choose to contribute to this joint venture remain at an early stage.

PPC Renewables is expected to contribute PV licenses concerning the west Macedonia and Megalopoli areas, while RWE is seen contributing project licenses or anticipated Greek project acquisitions being eyed by the German company for quite some time.

 

PPC board approves joint venture agreement with RWE

The board at power utility PPC has unanimously approved an agreement between fully owned subsidiary PPC Renewables and Germany’s RWE Renewables for solar energy project investments and a portfolio of up to 2 GW through a joint venture to be established in June, PPC has announced.

RWE Renewables will hold a 51 percent stake in the joint venture with 49 percent going to PPC Renewables, PPC specified.

Development of the collaboration’s first projects, stemming from the PPC Renewables portfolio, is expected to begin early in 2022.

PPC will initially limit its involvement to contributing licenses, not capital, to the joint venture, while RWE Renewables will provide investment amounts required for the development of these early projects.

The joint venture’s establishment of a 2-GW solar energy portfolio will require investments estimated at one billion euros, while approximately 1,000 jobs will be created.

PPC, RWE agreement near, aiming for RES joint venture by summer

PPC Renewables, a power utility PPC subsidiary, and RWE, Germany’s biggest power producer, are striving to launch a joint venture by next summer for RES investments in Greece.

The two companies, which signed a Memorandum of Understanding last March in Berlin for exchange of technical knowhow and RES development in Greece, are looking to equally contribute for the establishment of a joint RES portfolio totaling 2 GW.

State-controlled PPC is expected to offer its approval of the agreement between the two companies within the next few days, development and investment minister Adonis Georgiadis told an online New Year event staged yesterday by the Hellenic-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

However, the details of the PPC Renewables-RWE joint venture deal are not expected to be finalized until early February, according to sources.

The two sides have already agreed on the fundamentals of their partnership agreement, RWE’s local representative Giorgos Paterakis confirmed at the aforementioned event, adding that the two companies will soon have further, and more specific, details to announce.

Georgiadis, the development and investment minister, described the forthcoming partnership as one of the country’s two biggest green-energy developments, also naming a pilot electromobility investment planned by another German company, VW, on the Greek island Astypalea.

The two companies are also looking to collaborate on decarbonization.

METKA winning bidder for PPC Renewables 200-MW solar farm

PPC Renewables has named METKA as the winning bidder of a tender for the development of a 200-MW solar farm in the country’s north, in the west Macedonia region.

PPC Renewables’ most ambitious project to date, it constitutes the third and largest section of a 230-MW solar energy complex.

Swift development of this third section is expected as PPC Renewables has already secured the project’s financing needs from a group of Greek banks.

Construction of the project, to be equipped with bifacial panels and trackers, is expected to commence in March.

As for the 230-MW solar energy project’s two smaller sections, both 15 MW, one is nearing completion while construction work at the other is in progress.

PPC Renewables, a subsidiary of power utility PPC, is also moving ahead with a tender for a 50-MW solar energy project in Megalopoli, Peloponnese. Bids submitted by five major groups, Greek and foreign, seeking this project’s development contract have been opened.

The Megalopoli solar farm is planned to be Greece’s first RES project that will not participate in RES auctions for tariffs. Instead, PPC Renewables intends to establish two-way contracts through the target model framework.

Over the next 24 months, PPC Renewables plans to begin developing projects with a total capacity of 500 MW, which would put the company on track towards achieving an installed-capacity target of 1.5 GW by 2024.

Parent company PPC’s updated business plan includes investments totaling 3.4 billion euros by 2023, 34 percent of these in the renewable energy sector. PPC is aiming for a fivefold increase in RES output, from 0.3 to 1.6 TWh.

PPC Renewables, possessing the country’s biggest RES portfolio following its latest moves and plans, may utilize some of its RES licenses for joint ventures with Germany’s RWE. Recent meetings between the two sides have increased the likelihood of a partnership.

PPC Renewables portfolio boosted by 1.9 GW in producer certificates

RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, has granted PPC Renewables producer certificates for a total capacity of 1.9 GW, a pivotal step in the power utility PPC subsidiary’s effort to realize its ambitious investment plan. It features the installation of major-scale solar energy parks in north Greece’s west Macedonia region, facing a post-lignite transition.

A proportion of these new producer certificates, which elevate PPC Renewables into a major PV market player, could be utilized for state-controlled PPC’s planned collaboration with Germany’s RWE. A prospective partnership between the two sides appears near, recent meetings between the two sides have indicated.

The establishment of this partnership is close to being finalized, energy minister Costis Hatzidakis told Parliament yesterday, confirming an energypress report.

PPC and RWE signed a memorandum of understanding last March. A team of RWE officials then visited lignite fields in the west Macedonia region. Ensuing talks have since intensified. A finalized agreement by the end of the year has not been ruled out.

PPC Renewables is already developing two key PV projects, a 230-MW solar energy facility in Ptolemaida, northern Greece, and a 50-MW solar park in Megalopoli, Peloponnese.

Development of about 15 MW of the Ptolemaida project and a high-voltage sub-station are expected to be ready around January. Construction of a further 15 MW is already in progress, while work on the project’s additional 200 MW is scheduled to begin in the first half of 2021.

As for the Megalopoli project, PPC Renewables is currently staging a tender offering a construction contract. Five major foreign and Greek groups have submitted bids.

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%).