During the renewables licensing cycle for June, two energy communities submitted applications for floating photovoltaic plants of unprecedented size to the Regulatory Authority for Waste, Energy and Water (RAWEW).
The first project is for 11.65 GW in capacity and, according to the data submitted, it is planned for installation on sea between the island of Evia (Euboea) and the Greek mainland. The second one is for 7 GW of floating PV panels to be installed in Amfilochia in western Greece.
Put together, the two projects dominated the latest licensing cycle, with 18.65 GW, as all other 203 applications had 4 GW, for a total of 22.65 GW.
Since the two energy communities were unknown until now, and given the extreme size of these projects, it seems improbable they will ever get built. Furthermore, their enormous size would cause strong reactions from local communities who would suddenly see the water disappear in front of them and replaced with endless glass panels.
Pilot floating PV projects eligible for EUR 159 per MWh
It should be noted that the Greek government has already taken the first steps towards installing floating PV facilities on sea or artificial lakes (with maximum acreage set at 10% of total surface). In November 2022, the Ministry of Environment and Energy announced that 10 pilot projects would be allowed without the requirement for a producer certificate or environmental license, in order to test the technology.
The remuneration has been set at EUR 159 per MWh. However, so far nothing has come out of the initiative.
French Akuo Energy, which plans to install 1 GW in agrisolar units in the Larissa area, is also working on projects for photovoltaic systems on irrigation channels and reservoirs.
Another large group with an interest in the sector is GEK Terna. Its branch Terna Energy has announced its intention to build a 103 MW project on artificial lake Pournari in the Arta region in the northwest. So far, the company has completed the environmental study, which has been submitted for public consultation.
It foresees an area of 114.4 hectares, which is 5.6% of the reservoir. The expected output is 156.2 GWh annually, with CO2 savings of 150,000 tonnes.
PPC Renewables also plans 50 MW in floating solar power plants, with the first one to be built on the artificial Polyfytos lake on the Haliacmon river.