PPC to offer lignite-dependent area residents 5% stakes in solar farms

Power utility PPC intends to offer residents of lignite-dependent areas in Greece stakes totaling 5 percent in solar farm projects planned by the company as part of its decarbonization strategy, chief executive Giorgos Stassis disclosed in an interview published by Greek daily Kathimerini yesterday.

PPC plans to develop and operate solar farms with a total capacity of 2.5 GW in west Macedonia, northern Greece, and Megalopoli, in the Peloponnese, both lignite-dependent economies.

Besides creating jobs through these investments, PPC plans to offer locals the opportunity to invest in the power utility by acquiring shares for total stakes of 5 percent, Stassis noted.

Through this procedure, residents will join PPC in its investments and enjoy the exact same returns as the company, he said.

“I want to underline the annual investment return on these investments will range between 8 and 10 percent, at a time when deposit interest rates are almost negative,” Stassis said. The offer will be restricted to decarbonization-area residents, he added.

Commenting on local resistance against prospective RES installations, especially on islands, Stassis noted: “Islanders who, for years, have enjoyed low-cost electricity generated in Megalopoli and Ptolemaida at a cost for the environment and human lives, cannot object turbine installations on islands for production of electricity they will consume now that lignite-fired generation has become ultra-expensive and is being abandoned.”

RES connection project contributions expected soon

Renewable energy source (RES) producers that have agreed to co-finance an underwater interconnection project to link wind parks in Evia, Greece’s second largest island just northeast of Athens, with the mainland electricity grid, will soon have to provide their share of the cost, as the project is now nearing completion.

These RES companies have been granted licenses to operate wind farms in Evia’s south, regarded as a highly appropriate location for the sector’s development. The objective of this infrastructure project, classified as one of wider significance for the national economy in legislation dating back to 2003, is to support the development of wind-farm facilities in the southern Evia.

Sources noted that a number of RES enterprises have essentially agreed to proceed with their investment plans for the interconnection project, while others are having second thoughts over financing concerns. To date, the companies holding wind-park permits for southern Evia have gone as far as to provide letters of guarantee. They will need to sign agreements and pay respective participation costs, estimated at 150,000 euros per MW, within three months after the project begins operating, which is expected at the end of this year.

Just days ago, IPTO – Greece’s Independent Power Transmission Operator, locally referred to as ADMIE – which has taken on the project’s construction, secured a loan from the European Investment Bank to complete work on it.

A number of major energy sector players that have been granted licenses to develop wind farms in southern Evia, are taking part in the project’s co-financing, including PPC, the Public Power Corporation, Iberdola – Rokas, Terna, Gamesa, Protergia, and Enteka.

The underwater interconnection project will run from Polypotamos, in Evia’s south, to Nea Makri, in the wider Athens area’s northeast.



PPC given green light for wind-energy parks

PPC, the public power corporation, has approved an application from subsidiary firm PPC Renewables for the construction of three new wind-energy parks with a total capacity of 150 MW in Rodopi, northeastern Greece, as well as a 7.5MW wind-energy facility in Crete.

Budgeted at 180 million euro, the three facilities in Rodopi will be located in the areas of Gerakas-Romvos-Alonitsra (54MW); Kandila-Kyrton (44MW); and Milia-Kapetanios-Livadokorfi (52MW).

According to PPC’s investment plan for Rodopi, a 60% proportion of the investment, or 108 million euro, will be financed by a bank loan. The remaining 40%, or 72 million euro, will be financed by equity capital from PPC Renewable, in the form of capital injection provided by PPC.

As for PPC’s capital injection, the plan is expected to be approved at a PPC Renewables shareholders meeting, when required, but not before relevant permits have been granted ahead of the project’s construction.

The wind-energy facility in Crete, to be located in the Sitia region, is budgeted at 9,002,700 euro. An option allowing for a 3.3MW-capacity increase, at an additional cost of 3.96 million euro, has been approved for this project.