EU clears Greek aid for 813 MW of PV with storage 

The European Commission has approved €1 billion ($1.08 billion) of Greek measures under EU state-aid rules to support two utility-scale solar projects with lithium-ion batteries and molten-salt thermal storage. The funds will take the form of a contract for difference (CfD) over a period of 20 years.

The European Commission has approved the provision of €1 billion in Greek state aid to support the construction of solar projects with a cumulative capacity of 813 MW, coupled with different type of energy storage systems.

The funds will be divided between two projects. The Faethon Project entails the construction of two PV plants, each with a capacity of 252 MW, along with integrated molten-salt thermal storage units and an extra-high voltage substation. This project aims to provide peak shaving services.

The Seli Project entails the construction of a 309 MW PV plant coupled with a lithium-ion battery energy storage system. This project aims to optimize electricity generation and grid stability.

Both projects are planned to be completed by mid-2025.

The aid will take the form of a two-way CfD, based on the difference between the market price and an agreed “strike price,” over a period of 20 years.

The measures will contribute to Greece’s climate and energy targets, as well as the objectives of the European Green Deal, which aims for net zero emissions of greenhouse gases in 2050. They will also support the “Fit for 55” package, which targets a reduction in net greenhouse gas emissions of at least 55% by 2030.

“The measures will help the EU and Greece meet our decarbonization and climate neutrality targets, as well as reduce our dependence on imported fossil fuels, in line with the EU Solar Energy Strategy and the REPowerEU Plan,” said Margrethe Vestager, European Commission executive vice-president in charge of competition policy.

Greece installed 1.59 GW of solar in 2023, bringing its cumulative PV capacity to 7.1 GW by the end of December. It was the country’s largest addition of solar capacity in a single year, up from  1.36 GW of solar deployed in 2022.

In its revised National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP) released last year, Greece proposed to raise its cumulative renewable energy capacity to 23.5 GW by 2030 and to 71.7 GW by 2050. Solar is expected to contribute the lion’s share of new additions accounting for 14.1 GW by 2030 and 34.5 GW by 2050.

Energy storage is also expected to play a prominent role according to the revised plan with the government aiming for 5.3 GW energy storage capacity by 2030 and up to 24.8 GW by 2050. This would include 3.1 GW of battery energy storage systems by 2030, mainly driven by storage tenders, and 22.6 GW by 2050.

This post appeared first on PV Magazine.

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