RWE signs agreement with Greek utility to target 2 GW of solar power in coal mines – pv magazine International
It’s official. After around 18 months of negotiations, power companies in Germany and Greece signed an agreement last night to confirm RWE’s entry into the Greek electricity market. Initially, the deal is for 2 GW of new PV generation capacity to be built in old lignite mines, but the deal could later expand to include additional power projects.
The RWE Renewables subsidiary of the German utility RWE and its counterpart PPC Renewables of the Greek Public Power Corporation (PPC) agreed last night to form a joint venture to co-develop renewable energy projects in Greece.
Under the agreement, RWE will own 51% of the joint venture and PPC the balance.
A press release issued to announce the arrangement said: “PPC Renewables will contribute to nine solar projects [with] up to a handset [generation capacity] total of 940 MW (870 MWac), and which are located in the West Macedonia region of northern Greece, within the boundaries of the former Amyntaio open pit lignite mine.
The statement added, “RWE Renewables has secured a pipeline of similar sized Greek PV projects with the aim of including it in the joint venture,” without providing further details on the source of the latter projects. pv magazine has learned, however, that RWE’s Greek solar projects are part of a portfolio being developed by Athens-based joint-stock company Idea.
The press release says the affected PV projects are in various stages of development, with operations scheduled to start from 2023-25.
Talk to pv magazine in June, an RWE spokesperson chose not to provide further information regarding the political mechanisms supporting Greek investment.
PPC’s clean energy arm won contracts for three solar parks with a total production capacity of 230 MW in Greece’s previous renewable energy tenders. All three installations relate to the same site in West Macedonia, for which the PPC has won additional premium payments – in addition to the wholesale price of electricity – of 0.04911 € / kWh for 200 MW of capacity plus payments of 0.06488 € and 0, 05382 € / kWh for the two 15 MW units of the solar field which constitute the balance of the 230 MW plant.
The RWE-PPC joint venture can be expected to participate in future rounds of public tenders, which offer successful bidders payment of premiums under 20-year contracts. With the Greek utility’s clean power operation already operating on a 50 MW unsubsidized solar farm in southern Greece, there is also a possibility that the new company will venture into developing PPA-focused business projects. .
Greece’s decarbonization process
The new partnership is expected to give new impetus to Greece’s energy transition, with the government pledging to phase out coal from its power generation by 2025 and the PPC aiming to develop 3 GW of solar capacity in the old regions. mining companies in the country.
RWE’s renewable energy unit can inject much needed capital and technical expertise into the Greek market, and PPC can offer local knowledge and well-established relationships with stakeholders and customers, as the public producer is the largest and oldest public electricity utility in Greece. PPC Renewables Managing Director Konstantinos Mavros, the driving force behind the new partnership, welcomed RWE to his country, adding that PPC looks forward to “co-developing projects of unprecedented scale”.
The German clean energy developer recently said pv magazine “The first strategic objective of the company is the development and implementation of solar farms”, before adding: “We always keep an eye on the developments of energy storage facilities and hybrid projects on all European markets, wherever it makes economic sense, including Greece. This suggests that the former coal mine’s initial ambition could be extended to other areas of Greece’s energy transition.
Katja Wünschel, Director of Onshore Wind and Solar Photovoltaic Operations in Europe and Asia-Pacific for RWE Renewables, said: “European collaborations, such as our partnership with [the] PPC, are essential to the achievement of the energy transition. Greece is also offering the German company the opportunity to build a solar portfolio that stood at 229 MW in operation at the end of last year, of which only 56 MW was in Europe.
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