Licenses of first wind parks expiring, decisions needed

The country’s first wind energy park, a 10-MW facility installed by the firm Rokas in Crete, was launched in May, 1998 on a 20-year operating license, meaning both this permit as well as supply contracts are about to expire in a few months.

At this stage, the unit’s ability to continue operating, as well as the terms that would apply to any license extension granted beyond the initial 20-year license period, remain unclear. Both the energy ministry and RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, will soon need to decide on the facility’s license, technical requirements and future remuneration for output.

The issue is not confined to Rokas but also concerns a number of investors who developed and launched the country’s first wind parks, totaling 200 MW, between 1998 and 2001. These early investments represent the first wave of wind energy units that served as a basis for the sector’s impressive course over ensuing years.

Many of the investors behind this first wave of wind energy parks intend to carry out all necessary technical inspections, improvements, even upgrades. However, if this is to be the case, market authorities will soon need to reach decisions on the future framework to applied for this special category of first-wave investments.

The problem concerns wind energy facilities launched between 1998 and 2001 as ensuing parks that entered the system from 2002 onwards were subject to new deal revisions, which, along with tariff cuts, also offered seven-year extensions to their initial 20-year licenses.

Though the issue has been raised at the energy ministry, decisions have yet to be made, energypress sources have informed. A license extension for the country’s very first wind energy park, followed by a new framework for this special first-wave category of RES investments, has not been ruled out.