Renewables

Battery fever grips Greece with firms launching hundreds of projects

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Photo: Akela999 on Pixabay

Published

January 9, 2023

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Published:

January 9, 2023

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A large number of domestic and foreign companies are interested in building energy storage facilities in Greece using battery technology.

On a daily basis, the Regulatory Authority for Energy (RAE) receives applications for permits concerning battery storage plants, which range from a few megawatts to hundreds of megawatts. In total, applications to RAE reached 1.6 GW during October’s licensing cycle. This is on top of projects with 23.5 GW in total that were already submitted by over 300 companies.

The new National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP) is expected to target over 3 GW of storage to be installed by the end of the decade, so the race is on to acquire permits, while the market still awaits the new regulatory framework for storage, as well as specialized auctions that are expected to begin at the end of the first quarter.

Germany-based Voltstorage has acquired permits from RAE for three plants totaling 150 MW in operating power. The projects are expected to be installed in the provinces of Western Macedonia, Central Greece, and Eastern Macedonia and Thrace. It should be noted that Voltstorage, apart from batteries, is also developing a potentially groundbreaking new long-duration storage technology using iron salt. The goal is to provide low-cost solutions similar to pumped hydropower for the grid.

Public Power Corp. (PPC) has also set its sight on storage and recently received a permit for a 100 MW project in Ptolemaida in Western Macedonia.

Other companies include Magna Victoria, Melven, Mars BESS and MS Komotini, which have already received permits for a combined 400 MW of battery capacity in various large projects. MS Komotini is one of seven subsidiaries of Motor Oil that have submitted applications for over 300 MW of storage. The Greek oil refiner has announced EUR 4 billion in investments to support its transition to climate neutrality, with a heavy focus on storage and renewables.

All these groups now await a ministerial decree that would allow the Independent Power Transmission Operator (IPTO) to provide connection terms.

Companies race to include batteries in renewable projects

Apart from standalone battery projects, companies are very keen to include batteries in existing renewable energy investments to acquire priority in their connection terms. According to the most recent decree, issued in 2022, if a renewable energy project has battery storage, it gains two steps in the priority ladder. The Ministry of Environment and Energy has specified a maximum power capacity limit of 250 MW of storage for each plant. So far, renewable energy permits for 1.38 GW in total have been modified to include batteries.

Enel Green Power: We invest in storage despite delays in the regulatory framework

Enel Green Power is another large company that has already included batteries in two renewable energy projects in Larissa – 83.7 MW and 50 MW. “Although Greece did not take timely steps and the regulatory framework is delayed, we are proceeding with innovative investments in storage,” according to its head for Europe Aristotelis Handavas.

Developments in the battery storage segment also extend to other fields. Aurora Energy Research plans to launch a digital platform in February that would inform investors about the cost of storage and the economics of batteries in the Greek market.

In neighboring Turkey, the introduction of a rule favoring storage projects that are paired with a matching wind or solar power capacity has prompted an overwhelming response from investors.

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