Greek utility reaches financial close on 230 MW of solar at former coal mine

Greece’s Public Power Corp. (PPC) has secured €102.4 million ($111 million) of financing, with at least €28.5 million coming from the European Investment Bank (EIB). The funds will support the construction of 230 MW of PV capacity in Ptolemaida, which is Greece’s coal mining region.

The EIB has revealed plans to provide €28.5 million of financing to Greek state-owned utility PPC. The EIB said the funds will reach a maximum of €35 million in the months ahead, which PPC Renewables, the renewables unit of the PPC, will spend on the construction of three solar farms, totaling 230 MW.

The EIB financing comprises “part of a €102.4 million project finance debt package comprising of €95.1 million long term facilities and €7.3 million medium term construction VAT financing,” the bank said in a press release. Specifically, the EIB, which is the European Union’s financing entity, worked together with Greece’s Eurobank and National Bank of Greece, which together provided 70% of the long-term facilities and 100% of the medium-term VAT financing.

The EIB’s loan stems from the InvestEU program, which brings all EU financial instruments together under one roof, to improve the financing of green projects in a timely, efficient manner. As such, the loan is backed by an EU budget guarantee of €26.2 billion.

In 2021, the EIB had also signed an agreement with the Greek finance ministry to help manage up to €5 billion as part of Greece’s implementation of the national recovery and resilience plan, which is the EU’s post-pandemic recovery plan. The bank has said the loan is supporting three solar farms totaling 230 MW. pv magazine understands this is a cluster featuring a 200 MW solar park alongside two smaller solar farms, each with 15 MW of capacity, in Ptolemaida, a mining region.

The three projects are referred to separately because they have won separate contracts in Greece’s previous rounds of renewable energy tenders. Thus, the 200 MW project won a tariff of €0.04911/kWh in a tender held in 2020 and the two smaller projects were also awarded contracts in separate tenders.

PPC Renewables Chief Executive Konstantinos Mavros told pv magazine that the two smaller projects totaling 30 MW were connected to the grid in March, while the larger 200 MW project will be connected to the grid within the next 60 to 90 days.

This post appeared first on PV Magazine.

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