Greece has completed its debut auction for wind and solar projects, awarding 277.3 MW of capacity to local and international developers.
The country’s Regulatory Authority for Energy (RAE) invited bids for wind power plants ranging from 3 to 50 MW in size last week at a starting price of 90 euros (US$106) per MWh. It awarded seven projects with a total capacity of just under 171 MW at a weighted average price of 69.53 euros (US$81.66) per MWh.
Four of the projects in question are sited in the northern regions of Macedonia and Thrace, while two more are located in Greece’s central region. Another one will be built on the island of Andros.
EDP Renovaveis won rights to build a 44.625-MW wind farm in Livadi, central Greece, marking the Portuguese developer’s foray into the country. It aims to launch the facility in 2020.
Elsewhere, Spain’s Iberdrola was selected to construct the 16-MW Pyrgari wind farm, also in the central region. The remaining five projects were handed to Greek developers. Pavlidis secured rights to two plants with capacities of 24 MW and 12 MW, while Ventavel won a 34-MW project. Ellaktor and PPC Renewables were given projects with capacities of 28.8 MW and 11.5 MW.
RAE also awarded 53.48 MW of photovoltaic (PV) plants with a capacity of up to 1 MW, and 52.92 MW with a capacity between 1 MW and 20 MW. The smaller-scale plants were auctioned off at an average price of 78.42 euros (US$92.12) per MWh, versus a maximum price of 85 euros (US$99.80). Meanwhile, the larger ones were awarded at an average price of 63.81 euros (US$74.95) per MWh, versus a cap of 80 euros (US$94.00).
The auction is first in a series of competitive tenders Athens intends to hold between now and 2020, with the aim of awarding a total of 2,600 MW of wind and solar capacity. Earlier, Greece had used feed-in tariffs (FiTs) as the main mains for attracting investment into its clean energy sector.
The country currently has 2,650 MW of wind and just over 2,600 MW of solar capacity installed. As part of a broader EU push to expand the use of renewables, Greece is required to draw at least 18% of its energy consumption from clean energy sources by 2020.
This month’s auction was deemed a success by industry lobby groups.
Pierre Tardieu, chief policy officer at Greek wind association HWEA, said the tender result “shows that the industry is regaining confidence in the Greek market and anticipates cost reductions in the short term, when these projects will achieve financial closing and contracting.”
He called for wind to play a greater role in Greece’s energy mix, but said the government needed to do more to stimulate the sector.
“Wind deployment can get even cheaper and Greece can benefit even further from recent major progress in wind technology,” he said. “For this, improvements need to be made to lower the risk and cost of capital. We need to see clarity on the renewables spatial planning, plus further visibility on wind deployment volumes, particularly post-2020.”