Strong PPA demand prompts boost to 1,500-MW capacity

The energy ministry plans to boost a current 1,500-MW capacity made available to RES producers for Power Purchase Agreements with electricity suppliers or major-scale consumers as this capacity has been virtually exhausted due to robust demand. The extent of the capacity increase still remains unknown.

The large number of green investments being planned in Greece, along with medium-term electricity cost projections PPAs can offer electricity suppliers, are factors that have boosted demand for PPAs in recent months.

Demand would have been even higher if industrial consumers were not subject to a uniform ceiling on wholesale market compensation for green units.

Power grid operator IPTO is taking preliminary steps towards establishing a new priority list, expected in roughly one month.

Island hybrid RES, energy storage project auctions in first quarter of ’23

The energy ministry is striving to stage two auctions, one for hybrid RES facilities on non-interconnected islands, and another for a first wave of energy storage units to be linked to the grid, in the first quarter of 2023.

The energy ministry plans to soon decide on a cluster of islands to be included in the auction for hybrid RES facilities on non-interconnected islands.

The ministry intends to take into account bidding levels submitted for an existing hybrid system on the Greek island Astypalaia, the westernmost of the Dodecanese islands, when it decides on the starting price for the auction concerning hybrid RES facilities on non-interconnected islands.

As for the auction concerning energy storage units supporting the grid, the energy ministry is striving for a swift process as project development deadlines set by the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), to fund these auctions, are extremely tight.

According to the RRF deadlines, contracts for the winning bidders need to be awarded before the end of 2023, and the storage facilities must be completed by the end of 2025.

 

EU energy tax revision talks for RES incentives in December

The need that has arisen for windfall profit taxes in the European energy market, both in electricity production and the petroleum sector, has generated discussion for a wider tax solution in the energy sector.

Energy tax revisions for an updated European formula to benefit the renewable energy sector will be discussed by EU finance ministers in December, according to an announcement by the Czech Republic, currently holding the rotating EU presidency.

Earlier this year, European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson admitted an older directive, delivered 15 years ago, is not helping the EU achieve energy and climate goals.

The objective is to impose higher taxes on fossil fuels and lower taxes on the RES sector in order to create incentives for investment in green energy. Climate criteria will be used to establish tax rates, resulting in highest tax rates for conventional fuels.

 

ELPE, renamed HELLENiQ ENERGY, looks to triple RES capacity in 1 ½ yrs

The chief executive of Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE), which has taken on a new name, HELLENiQ ENERGY, unveiled at a company event in Athens yesterday, took the opportunity to underline the enterprise’s interest in the renewable energy market and RES takeovers abroad, the objective being to triple its green portfolio in 18 months.

HELLENiQ ENERGY’s chief executive, Andreas Siamisiis, informed that the company is currently progressing with two RES company takeovers in foreign markets, without specifying in which countries.

According to sources, one of these two HELLENiQ ENERGY takeovers is in Italy, while the other is in one of Greece’s neighbors along the northern border.

The HELLENiQ ENERGY head told the company event that the Greek market is too small for RES takeovers, adding deals abroad serve the group’s interest to expand.

HELLENiQ ENERGY’s current portfolio of operating RES facilities is at 340 MW, which the company aims to increase to 1 GW within the next year and a half. Its RES portfolio, overall, totals 2 GW.

RES sector opposes Brussels proposal for price cap on power production

European renewable energy associations SolarPower Europe and WindEurope have expressed their opposition to any moves by the European Commission for a lower maximum electricity price on renewables than on fossil fuel energy, noting this would endanger the energy transition.

EU member state energy ministers are meeting today in search of emergency measures to protect bill payers.

Speaking earlier this week, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen announced the EU executive’s desire to cap wholesale electricity prices as separate measures for low-carbon and fossil fuel generators.

Von der Leyen set out revenue limits for renewables and nuclear power companies as the second of five energy crisis measures put forward by the commission, with a similar move for fossil fuel companies labeled the third measure.

This implies that the proposed income ceilings could be set at different levels for low-carbon and conventional power generators. That prospect was opposed by SolarPower Europe, which called for any limit on energy company revenue to be applied “after market clearing.”

 

Static RES projects occupying grid capacity to be cancelled

The energy ministry plans to stop granting free-handed connection term extensions to RES projects that have not made licensing progress over considerable periods, the objective being to reserve as much grid capacity as possible for renewable energy investors determined to push ahead with their project plans.

Ministry action is expected to lead to the termination of RES project plans that have secured connection terms but remained stagnant for no apparent reason. The resulting free space will be made available to investors keen to push ahead with green energy projects.

However, in taking action to make rules stricter for RES investors, the energy ministry will tread carefully to establish a formula that will avoid cancelling out projects that have been delayed for reasons beyond the control of their investors.

For example, development of some RES projects has been held back by legal wrangles. The ministry does not intend to cancel such projects.

However, the energy ministry believes a considerable number of RES projects have no reason to be stagnant. The focus will be on such cases.

Power grid operator IPTO has granted RES connection terms totaling approximately 11 GW, of which 3 GW, sources informed, concern projects not making any progress.

 

PPC’s liquidity, €3.6bn, ‘crisis tool’; Ptolemaida V ‘trial run in October’

Power utility PPC’s company plans are being adjusted on a daily basis as a result of changing market conditions in the energy crisis, but the corporation’s liquidity, at 3.6 billion euros – 2.197 billion euros in cash reserves and 1.444 billion euros in secured credit availability – stands as a protective weapon amid the uncertainty, chief executive Giorgos Stassis has told analysts during a presentation of PPC’s second-quarter results.

PPC’s net debt on June 30, 2022 was 2.245 billion euros, while PPC faces expiring debt payments worth 220 million euros in 2022, 543 million euros in 2023, and 1.015 billion euros in 2024, for which payment deadlines of 600 million euros can be extended by a year, Stassis informed.

The majority of PPC’s debt, 67 percent, has fixed interest rate terms, while 33 percent of the company’s borrowing is ESG-linked, the chief executive added.

PPC’s new Ptolemaida V power station, to be launched as a lignite-fired power station before eventually converting to natural gas, is expected to undergo a trial run in October, ahead of a scheduled launch in January, Stassis noted.

PPC is pushing ahead with investments in renewable energy, the company’s portfolio of RES facilities under construction or ready to undergo construction at 394 MW, the chief executive informed, adding that RES projects representing a further 4 GW are practically assured.

Company news concerning acquisitions is soon expected from Romania, possibly within the next few months, the chief executive noted.

IPTO proceeds with priority list for pending RES applications

Power grid operator IPTO is proceeding with a grading system for pending grid space applications submitted by investors behind renewable energy and combined cooling, heat and power (CCHP) projects, which will result in a prioritization list for these applications.

The procedure, resulting from a recent ministerial decision concerning pending applications, will include all applications submitted from the start of 2021 to August 10. An initial round is expected to be completed imminently.

Investors of projects making the upper section of this list will receive letters from IPTO notifying them of finalized connection terms offers.

The investors will be requested, by the operator, to inform if they accept these terms, while the overwhelming majority will also be asked to give their consent to a 20 percent project capacity cut, based on details included in the ministerial decision.

Agreeing to 20 percent project capacity cuts is not compulsory for investors. However, if they do not accept the finalized connection terms offered by IPTO, their applications will be automatically cancelled.

 

 

 

 

Country’s solar energy capacity on course to overtake wind energy

Solar energy units are on course to overtake wind energy as the country’s biggest RES sub-sector, given the growing number of installations of the former and a slowdown of the latter during the first half, latest data provided by DAPEEP, the RES market operator, has shown.

At the current rate, the total capacity of solar energy facilities could, for the first time ever, exceed that of wind energy units in the second half of this year.

At present, the country’s wind energy capacity totals 4,294 MW, solar energy capacity is at 4,173 MW, and roof-mounted photovoltaics are at 371 MW. They are followed by small-scale hydropower units (246 MW), biogas-biomass (99 MW) and cogeneration-combined hear and power (118 MW).

The country’s installed RES capacity increased by 207.4 MW in May, solar energy units being the biggest contributor (153.2 MW), followed by wind energy (51.8 MW), small-scale hydropower units (1.7 MW) and biomass (0.7 MW), the DAPEEP figures showed.

The RES market operator expects renewable energy installations in 2022 to reach 1,900 MW, led by solar energy units (950 MW), and followed by wind energy (910 MW), biomass (15 MW), cogeneration-combined hear and power (15 MW), and small-scale hydropower (10 MW).

Greece’s total installed RES capacity reached 9,300 MW in May, up from 8,500 MW at the beginning of the year, the DAPEEP data showed.

 

DEPA Commercial makes another RES market acquisition

Gas company DEPA Commercial has further penetrated the RES market by fully acquiring NEW SPES CONCEPT, possessing solar farms with a total capacity of 232 MW, and is preparing to buy a further 51 percent stake, for full ownership, of North Solar, whose business plan features 500-MW of solar farms in northern Greece’s west Macedonia region.

DEPA Commercial aims to build a RES portfolio with a 1-GW capacity.

NEW SPES CONCEPT is currently developing 14 solar energy projects and holds as many electricity producer certificates.

DEPA Commercial made a first step into the renewable energy market last year with the purchase of a 49 percent stake in North Solar and is now expected to exercise an option for the other 51 percent of the company.

North Solar’s 500-MW solar farms in the country’s west Macedonia region are expected to receive finalized connection terms in the third quarter of this year, sources informed.

Besides its stakes in NEW SPES CONCEPT and North Solar, DEPA Commercial also holds a 20-percent stake in Gastrade, a consortium established for the Alexandroupili FSRU project in the country’s northeast.

Day-ahead market split for RES, thermal units requested

The Greek government has proposed target model structural changes, at a European level, that would split the day-ahead market into two entities, one for RES, hydropower and nuclear facilities, and another for natural gas and coal-fired power stations.

For the first of these two new day-ahead market entities, producers would forecast production quantities and be remunerated based on bilateral contracts, detached from the day-ahead market.

For the second of the two new entities, natural gas and coal-fired power station producers, covering remaining energy needs, would submit financial and volume offers based on existing rules.

The Greek proposal was presented by energy minister at an EU council meeting of energy ministers on July 26, energypress sources informed.

Preliminary talks on the Greek proposal have already been held. The European Commission plans to deliver alternative proposals for the target model’s functioning by September.

The day-ahead market determines clearing prices in the electricity market.

 

 

Alexandroupoli area offshore wind farm projects prioritized

Northeastern city Alexandroupoli’s prospective offshore wind farm projects holding old licenses, or which have submitted license applications, will be given priority as pilot-program area projects.

This area’s development of offshore wind farm projects will move ahead faster than projects at other offshore areas entering competitive procedures.

The energy ministry yesterday submitted a legislative revision establishing Alexandroupoli as a pilot area for offshore wind farm projects.

Covering an area south of the Evros region’s coastline and north-northeast of the island Samothrace, this pilot area will be able to host offshore wind projects with capacities of up to 600 MW.

In addition, a presidential decree defines – based on recommendations by the country’s offshore wind energy farm authority – other offshore wind farm installation areas and the capacities of projects they can host, set at a maximum of 200 MW.

Framework established for energy cooperation with Saudi Arabia

Greece and Saudi Arabia have reached an agreement for the installation of a subsea data cable that will connect Europe with Asia and also discussed the prospect of linking their power grids to supply Europe with lower-cost green energy.

A memorandum of understanding for cooperation related to the energy sector was signed during an official visit of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud with his delegation.

The MoU was signed by Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Energy, and Nikos Dendias, Greece’s Minister of Foreign Affairs.

It establishes a framework for cooperation between the two countries in fields including renewable energy, electrical interconnection, exporting electricity to Greece and Europe, clean hydrogen and its transfer to Europe, energy efficiency, and the oil, gas and petrochemical industry.

Skrekas: Green transition is the government’s firm target

Εnvironment and Energy Minister Kostas Skrekas on the occasion of the imminent tenders for new units of Renewable Energy Sources and on the upgrading of the target for participation of the RES to the energy balance in 2030 stated to Athens -Macedonian News Agency on Sunday that “only in 2022 we have saved over half a billion euros because the increase of the energy production of the RES allowed us to import less natural gas in comparison with the previous years”.
“The government’s firm target is the Green Transition which we are implementing despite the unprecedented difficulties provoked by the economic war that Russia has declared to Europe and consequently to Greece. We have already quadrupled the RES installments in the last three years with a double result. Firstly, we gave a boost to the change of the energy production mixture in favour of the environment and secondly, we achieved substantial savings for the citizens. We believe in this policy that leads to Greece’s energy independence, we are implementing it and we will continue to implement it with determination”, Skrekas said.

First offshore wind farm auction by 2025 for tariffs over 2 GW

A draft bill including a development and operation framework for offshore wind farms has been forwarded for consultation, now underway. The development paves the way for a first auction for the sector, expected by early 2025 and seen offering investors tariffs for a total capacity of more than 2 GW.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has set an objective for a launch of the country’s first offshore wind farms by 2030.

The number of offshore plots to be offered to investors at the first auction remains undetermined at this early stage. But authorities will strive to offer a sufficient number of offshore plots to ensure the achievement of Prime Minister’s objective of a 2-GW total installed capacity for the sector by 2030.

This capacity target could be boosted if National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP) revisions require a greater number of wind energy capacity installations by the end of 2030, as part of the country’s effort to reduce carbon emissions.

Offshore windfarm framework published for consultation

The government has just published for consultation a draft bill concerning a framework for offshore wind farms. Its content offers priority to older licenses and applications.

Authorities aim to have the framework ratified as soon as possible so that procedures leading to the utilization of the country’s offshore energy wind potential can begin as soon as possible.

According to the draft bill, investors wanting to research specific offshore fields will need to submit permit applications to EDEY, the Greek Hydrocarbon Management Company. Applicants will need to meet technical and financial criteria.

Offshore fields will be transferred to investors offering the lowest bids for tariffs covering a 20-year period.

The energy ministry aims to have the draft bill ratified within July.

 

 

DEPA Chief: ‘Holistic approach to energy matters needed more than ever’

Mr. K. Xifaras, CEO of Public Gas Corporation of Greece (DEPA) SA., writes for International Energy Exhibition of Greece 2022

DEPA Commercial is Custodian of Greece’s energy security and of the smooth operation of the domestic energy market. Today, the energy sector, both in Greece and worldwide, is faced with a series of challenges and unforeseen factors which highlight, now more than ever, the need for a holistic approach to energy matters. The need to contain energy costs and support the society, on one hand, and the process of energy transition, on the other, have created a situation in which the market needs to find a balance which will ensure both the country’s energy efficiency and its survival in sustainable terms.

While trying to solve this difficult equation, the role of natural gas, as a bridge, fuel proves to be decisive for shaping the future of the energy market, given the diversification of energy sources and routes of supply and transport, as well as the expansion of storage capacity. DEPA Commercial, which consistently serves these strategic priorities, has been developing a multi-level strategy for the last three years that has proven to be particularly effective. A strategy with double focus: the verticalization and expansion of corporate activities, and the seamless transition to “green” energy, both of which are national goals described in the National Energy and Climate Plan and the European Green Agreement, enhancing our country’s role as a regional energy hub for the wider Southeast European region.

In order to cover the country’s immediate energy needs and to shield its energy security, DEPA Commercial is increasing the supply of LNG either through current contracts or through the spot market, while having already secured long-term agreements on more favorable terms. At the same time, the company is investing in important infrastructure projects and programs, which are drastically reshaping the energy status quo of the region and are contributing decisively to the process of Europe’s independence from Russian gas, such as the Greek-Bulgarian pipeline – IGB and the offshore LNG terminal (FSRU) in Alexandroupolis. Both, projects which will significantly increase the capacity of supply and storage of both Greece and the neighboring countries it serves.

TAP, Poseidon and EastMed are equally important pipeline projects, with the latter returning dynamically to the forefront as a result of the energy crisis, since it will enable the transport of natural gas from the fields of the Eastern Mediterranean to Europe. To that direction, DEPA Commercial is currently in advanced discussions with trading companies from Israel and Egypt.

In this way, a safety net is established regarding the security of supply in the wider region, which upgrades Greece’s geopolitical status by transforming it into a regulatory factor in the energy landscape.

Simultaneously, given the enhanced importance of natural gas, we have designed a comprehensive strategy aiming, on the one hand to expand the use of natural gas, both geographically and in terms of uses, and on the other hand to create the conditions for the development and utilization of renewable and alternative forms of energy. Keeping this in mind, DEPA Commercial is leading the developments towards the transition to a greener economy by designing and implementing initiatives that promote the further penetration of natural gas in the country’s energy mix, as a transitional fuel on the way to cleaner energy forms. The company also contributes substantially to the promotion of gas mobility and the use of cutting-edge technologies, such as Small-Scale LNG and CNG, thus expanding even further the natural gas network and ensuring distribution even in the most inaccessible areas. At the same, time, emphasis is placed on the development of a sustainable and efficient LNG supply chain for maritime transport that will increase the growth prospects of the Greek shipping sector.

With its sights on the future, DEPA Commercial is already active in the field of Renewable Energy Sources by creating a “green” portfolio that exceeds 200 MW of photovoltaic parks, and is also developing projects, infrastructure and technologies which will be able to serve in the future even “greener” energy such as hydrogen and biomethane.

Moreover, at DEPA Commercial we have proven that we operate always considering pertinent societal issues and, for this reason, with a true sense of responsibility we are contributing decisively to the absorption of a significant percentage of the rise in international gas prices, through the implementation of targeted market interventions aimed at supporting households and businesses, in full cooperation with the Ministry of Environment and Energy.

With a solid vision and through hard work, DEPA Commercial is today an integrated energy company, with strong bases, operating vertically and according to modern corporate governance terms. We are meticulously planning our next steps and we are creating the conditions to successfully meet the ever-changing needs of the market and the economy.

 

Electricity producer price cap mechanism launched Friday

A price-cap mechanism for electricity producer payments is set to be launched this Friday and is expected to generate approximately 580 million euros for the Energy Transition Fund in July, a sum to be utilized for subsidizing consumer electricity bills.

Of this sum, 150 million euros will be derived from natural gas and lignite-fired power stations as well as power utility PPC’s hydropower facilities, while the other 380 million euros will stem from the RES sector.

Most of July’s funds to be provided by the RES sector will not be newly generated money as RES units had already refunded money to the RES special account and its surpluses were then injected into the Energy Transition Fund. Under the new system, these amounts will be directly injected into the Energy Transition Fund.

Through the new mechanism, PPC’s hydropower facilities will be paid 112 euros per MWh and all RES units will be remunerated at a rate of 85 euros per MWh. The remuneration rates for natural gas and lignite-fueled power stations will be determined every month based on a series of factors. For the mechanism’s first month, natural gas-fueled power stations will receive 253.99 euros per MWh for their output and lignite-fired power stations will receive 206.72 euros per MWh.

 

Next RES auction in early September, for 1,000 MW

The next RES auction, to feature a new remuneration framework for investors, is set to be held early September, following the signing of a related ministerial decision, which paves the way for the session’s official announcement by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy.

The authority will officially announce the auction imminently, giving participants time to prepare for the session from early July onwards, according to energypress sources.

The signing of the ministerial decision, one of two signed, enabling the procedure to go ahead, was announced yesterday by the energy ministry’s secretary-general Alexandra Sdoukou during a speech at a conference, Green Deal Greece 2022.

Sdoukou reiterated that the RES auction will be a mixed session for solar and wind energy facilities and will offer tariffs for projects with a total capacity of 1,000 MW.

Bidders will be able to submit multiple bids, the formula also used for the previous auction, the energy ministry official noted.

HEDNO plans 800-MW network boost to facilitate RES projects

Distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO is planning a series of significant network upgrades to facilitate new RES project additions to the grid through the availability of an additional 800-MW capacity over the next few years.

Many of these network upgrades, set to commence, are investments that will be co-funded by Greece 2.0, the National Recovery and Resilience Facility.

DEDDIE/HEDNO stands to receive 30 million euros from the RRF for capacity upgrades at selected medium and high-voltage substations around the country, either through transformer additions or full replacements.

Many of the operator’s prospective network upgrades are expected to be completed over the next 12 months, energypress sources have informed. All operator upgrades inducted into the RRF are planned to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2025.

The capacity of substations in the Peloponnese and Epirus regions is planned to be boosted by 250 megavolt-amperes, the wider Athens area will get a 100-MVA boost, substations in central Greece are expected to receive a 200-MVA lift, while substations in the country’s Macedonia and Thrace regions are headed for a 250-MVA capacity boost.

PPC Renewables requests geothermal units on islands

PPC Renewables, through a consultation procedure, has requested RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, to include planned geothermal units in its RES development plan for the non-interconnected islands Lesvos, Milos, Kimolos and Nisyros.

PPC Renewables called for the installation of geothermal stations with a capacity of 8 MW on Lesvos, which would fully cover capacity planned through biomass-biogas stations, difficult to develop on islands, as well part of the capacity that had been planned through hybrid stations.

In addition, PPC Renewables has requested a geothermal unit of at least 5 MW for Milos and Kimolos, as well as a geothermal unit with a 5-MW on Nisyros.

According to the National Energy and Climate Plan, geothermal units offering a total capacity of approximately 100 MW are envisioned for installation and operation by 2030. The aforementioned islands, offering geothermal potential, are expected to partially cover this geothermal capacity.

PPC Renewables plans to begin developing geothermal stations on Lesvos and Milos within the next two years.

New prioritization formula for RES projects in the making

The energy ministry is examining and preparing the details of a new formula to prioritize RES investor applications for power grid operator IPTO’s binding connection terms concerning new projects and, by extension, grid capacity reservations.

RES project prioritization is expected to be determined by the appraisal of various factors, including financial credibility and technical competence of investors, as well as their commercial operation plans for RES units.

The ministry intends to deliver a related ministerial decision as soon as a draft bill for a second round of RES licensing simplification measures and an energy-storage framework has been ratified in parliament. This draft bill has already been submitted to parliament.

A ministerial decision on the RES project prioritization formula is expected in the first week of July.

The RES project prioritization list to result from the application of the new formula will concern applications submitted from the beginning of 2021 until now.

RES absorption cuts, application freeze for saturated areas

A new legislative revision will enable RES output absorption cuts of as much as 5 percent, annually, in areas where grids are considered to be saturated. Applications for RES licenses will also be stopped at areas deemed to be saturated.

The absorption cuts will apply retroactively for RES projects that have received connection term offers prior to the new legislation, have already completed their licensing procedures, as well as investments still awaiting connection terms.

The new RES absorption cut rule will exempt units that are already operating as well as units that have been declared as ready to operate.

RES units for which investors had secured tariffs at auctions prior to the ratification of the legislative revision will also be exempted from absorption cuts as any belated cut would invalidate the financial conditions investors had taken into account when shaping their bids.

 

Voltalia Greece announces new Country Manager

Voltalia Greece has announced a new Country Manager for Greece, Alexis Goybet, who assumes this role as a member of the Comex of Voltalia and as former head of Voltalia’s activities in international markets.

His experience within the company and the sector will permit Voltalia Greece to further expand its activities in this exciting and rapidly growing market and to make a meaningful contribution to the energy transition in Greece, the company noted in a statement.

Alexis Goybet will succeed Gregoris Marinakis, who will take on new opportunities after many years of service to the company. Gregoris took over Voltalia Greece and successfully grew the business in development and services during a very challenging period in recent Greek history.

The company has thanked him warmly for his efforts and achievements at Voltalia Greece.

Greece was among Voltalia’s first countries of operation in 2007. Today, Voltalia Greece is growing rapidly, both as an independent power producer with a company-owned portfolio of renewable energy projects under development and as an EPC and O&M service provider and equipment distributor to third parties.

Voltalia welcomes Alexis Goybet to this new adventure, and extends its warmest thanks to Gregoris Marinakis for his many years of dedication and contribution to the company, the company statement noted.

Extra 10% in support funds for RES, smart networks, efficiency

Investors seeking to develop energy-related projects in the wind, solar, smart network and energy-efficiency fields will be entitled to bonus support funds of as much as 10 percent through the Just Transition Fund.

The European Commission has just approved 1.63 billion euros in support funds for Greece for the development of projects designed to ease the impact of energy and climate-change policies on local economies.

These areas include Megalopoli in the Peloponnese and northern Greece’s western Macedonia region, both lignite-dependent economies undergoing decarbonization, as well as the islands in the Aegean Sea’s north and south and Crete.

Private-sector projects in these areas, including hotels, agritourism units, wind and solar energy facilities, smart networks and energy-efficiency projects will all be entitled to extra support funds.

Inaccess and Power Factors combine forces

LONDON, June 17th, 2022 – Inaccess and Power Factors combine and form the largest and most comprehensive provider of digital tools needed to effectively manage large portfolios of renewables. SCADA, PPC, and VPP meet Asset Performance Management.

The combination of Power Factors’ leading asset performance management solutions with Inaccess’ SCADA, power plant and battery control, and market trading offerings will support the transition of the global renewables energy market from a subsidized and largely static environment to a dynamic, market-based environment.

Linking market and performance-based insights to assets controls will become a ‘must-have’ for the future renewables market. Additionally, the accelerated adoption of utility-scale storage solutions is enabling new revenue sources for owners of renewable plants. The combination of two powerful platforms, with Power Factors’ leading asset performance management solutions and Inaccess’ best-in-class SCADA, power plant and battery control, and energy market offerings, will unlock these new services, along with new potential revenue streams.

“The vision of linking plant insights to trading and real-time controls is among the most exciting area of the renewables market today. Open, smart, and autonomous tightly integrated tools will be required with the ever-increasing penetration of renewables onto the grid,” said Gary Meyers, CEO of Power Factors. “The combination of Power Factors and Inaccess solutions will be transformational for the renewable energy industry. We welcome our new colleagues as we join forces and collaborate to drive the renewable energy transition.”

“The renewables business is no longer just about minimizing levelized cost of energy (LCOE), but also about maximizing revenue by making smart data-driven decisions in real-time, and enabling income stacking from multiple services on existing or new operating assets. Such goals require a broad and deep technical stack along with the platform capacity and scale that  serves the largest energy producers on the planet. Achieving global scale is one of the many reasons we are excited to join forces with Power Factors,” said Christos Georgopoulos, co-founder and CEO of Inaccess.

When the transaction is closed, Power Factors will expand its customer asset management portfolio to nearly 200 Gigawatts, serving more than 300 customers worldwide, positioning Power Factors as one of the world’s largest renewable energy software companies.

Jonas Corné, Chief Strategy Officer at Power Factors, said: “We’re investing deeply in enabling our customers to drive digitalization efforts to better integrate large mixed renewable energy portfolios into the grid with direct market access. We are excited about what the integration of Power Factors and the remarkable team of Inaccess will mean to our customers and the renewable energy industry globally.”

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions including regulatory approvals and is expected to close within 30 days.

Source: Inaccess

About Power Factors

Power Factors develops software that accelerates the global energy transition by empowering all renewable energy stakeholders to collaborate, automate critical workflows, and make the best decisions. Power Factors fights climate change with code.

Power Factors has incorporated its three flagship solutions Drive, Greenbyte, and BluePoint to build an integrated suite of open and smart apps. These apps are purpose built for asset management, field service optimization, and performance optimization. Leveraging the domain expertise and machine learning-based advanced analytics within these apps, customers can maximize the value of their renewable assets in order to stay competitive.

Power Factors’ renewable energy software platform is one of the most extensive and widely deployed solutions in the market with nearly 200 GW of wind, solar, hydro, and energy storage assets managed worldwide.

Learn more at pfdrive.com.

About Inaccess

Inaccess is the maker and provider of Unity, a state-of-the-art Hybrid SCADA and real-time big data platform for RES power plants, integrating modern technologies and concepts to maximize capacity and speed, minimize latency and optimize operation of all controllable assets. Inaccess’ current portfolio includes more than 35GW of projects in over 60 countries spanning all continents, positioning the company as one of the leading worldwide independent providers of monitoring, control and market integration for utility-scale solar and battery storage, with additional activities in wind, hybrid, mini-grid and off-grid RES projects, as well as mission critical telecom and enterprise sites.

The company works for top international renewable investors and developers, global utilities decarbonizing the grid, oil & gas majors going green, RES asset managers and constructors (EPCs). Serving customers globally, Inaccess is continuously expanding local presence and network of partners to reliably support the Unity Hybrid SCADA & Power Plant Control platform that is core to thousands of Earth’s large-scale RES generators and several ultra-large scale, landmark and unique energy transition projects.

Learn more at inaccess.com.

PPAs through Green Pool, state subsidies to be set at 85%

A Green Pool model forwarded by the energy ministry for European Commission approval ahead of an envisaged launch at the beginning of 2023 will have the dual goal of setting energy costs for eligible industries at competitive price levels and bolstering green-energy generation through power purchase agreements.

The energy ministry hopes its plans will be given the green light as soon as possible so that industries can, immediately afterwards, establish PPAs for green energy, with state subsidies set at 85 percent.

This would enable industries to partially cover their energy needs as of the beginning of 2023 at competitive prices and also reduce their carbon footprints.

The Greek proposal was forwarded to the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition early this month, the aim being to make energy-intensive industries more environmentally friendly and facilitate the energy-mix entry of new RES facilities.

Record-Breaking Ultra Large PV Plant With Unity Controls

Inaccess has been awarded the PPC contract, one of the largest single solar PV plants in the world, a 2GW photovoltaic project in the EMEA region.

The Unity Power Plant Controller (PPC) was selected for the grid integration and overall control of this record-breaking project currently under construction. Consisting of approximately 4 million bifacial solar panels and more than 80,000 trackers, this flagship PV plant will generate enough electricity for around 160,000 homes and mitigate 2.4 million tons of carbon dioxide annually.

Inaccess will deploy Unity PPC in a master-slave configuration that controls approximately 8,000 string inverters and a series of capacitor banks. The active and reactive power control functionality will be complemented by our state-of-the-art automatic voltage regulation, which is essential for the smooth integration of this landmark project into the grid. In addition, Unity’s built-in redundancy will provide the necessary reliability and availability, guaranteeing the continuous and correct operation of the site control.

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PPC Renewables agrees to buy Volterra 112-MW RES projects

PPC Renewables, a subsidiary of power utility PPC, appears to have finalized details for a partial acquisition of energy firm Volterra’s renewable energy portfolio, namely 112 MW in wind and solar energy projects, both already operating and under construction. An official announcement on the agreement is expected to be announced today.

The anticipated acquisition by PPC Renewables, which does not include any of Volterra’s retail electricity market interests, currently pressured, promises to bolster the market presence of the buyer.

PPC Renewables is pursuing a plan aiming for 7.2 GW in installed RES capacity by 2024 and 9.1 GW by 2026, an investment initiative worth 8.4 billion euros.

In addition to its agreement with Volterra, a member of the AVAX construction group, one of Greece’s largest, PPC is also examining other RES sector opportunities in Greece and other Balkans markets, the focus on Bulgaria and Romania.

Volterra, holding a retail electricity market share of nearly 2.1 percent, has faced relentless cash-flow pressure, a key factor behind the parent company’s decision for electricity market disinvestment.

DNV ‘contributing’ to floating PV company ‘bankability’

By Michalis Mastorakis

An important step to enhance the maturity of the floating photovoltaic industry in Europe is being advanced by the independent energy expert and assurance provider, DNV.

This is starting with the implementation of two Joint industry Projects (JIP’s) which aim to create standards and guidelines for anchorage and mooring design as well as testing and certification of floats.

DNV intends to formulate a “roadmap” for potential investors and operators of floating photovoltaics, developing for the first time in the world, a specific certification and verification framework in terms of design, development and operation of floating photovoltaics.

The Norwegian classification society already collaborated with 24 sector companies as part of a previous JIP effort, that led to the publication of DNV-RP-0584. DNV has also invited others to participate in the two new JIPs, Michele Tagliapietra, solar energy advisor and DNV’s Global Practice Lead for Floating Solar, has told energypress.

As Tagliapietra explained speaking to energypress, there is a significant gap and this affects the “bankability” of investors, resulting in significant obstacles to the maturation and implementation of projects in the industry and even at a time, as he characteristically stated, that the technology of floating photovoltaics is booming and has significant investment interest in major markets on the European continent.

DNV’s first new Joint Industry Project for this sector aims to share and verify optimal practices concerning floating photovoltaic anchoring and mooring design. Taking into account the sector’s experience, so far, and existing concepts, this effort, involving participants from across the entire floating photovoltaics domain, will produce a design standard tackling a range of challenges that are expected to arise during design and installation.

The second new Joint Industry Project, concerning float design, testing and qualification – it is based on DNV’s knowhow and network – will aim to establish an adequate standard for design, testing and certification of floating PVs. This step promises to introduce clearer, swifter and lower-cost procedures.

Specific technology for specific conditions

Evaluating the Group’s overall experience in the floating photovoltaic industry, the senior DNV executive stated that the “key” to the successful development of the projects is the combination of “appropriate technology in the right place”, emphasizing that the project design must take into account the geographical, weather and technical conditions of each place selected for a project.

Determining the level of “maturity” of this technology, he said that for the time being it remains immature for application on the high seas, without however being ruled out in the near future, given that this technology is experiencing rapid development. Today such projects are mainly found in lakes and water basins within the mainland.

The case for Greece

Of particular interest is the case for Greece, where DNV has a long experience in the industry. According to Mr. Tagliapietra, Greece has a comparative advantage with the sea areas near the coastline that are considered particularly favourable to host such projects. “The Greek coastal region may be an optimal choice solution for the installation of floating photovoltaics,” he said.

The European trend

While the Netherlands is at the forefront for installed capacity in Europe, countries like Portugal, Spain, Italy, France and Germany are currently starting to implement floating solar specific regulations and initiatives to promote the sector.

Overall, European countries are becoming more favorable to the development of floating photovoltaics, a stance that puts this technology in good stead as a sustainable solution for energy sufficiency and supply within the framework of the European Commission’s new REPowerEU plan.

DNV forecasts

The geographical potential for floating photovoltaics installation is estimated at 4 TW by the World Bank. Following a hesitant start, the global floating PV market grew to 3 GW in installed capacity in 2021 and, according to DNV, should reach between 7 and 11 GW in installed capacity by 2025, a surge in development expected from 2023 onwards.