Renewables

Greece asks EU to approve state aid for 680 MW pumped storage project

Greece EU state aid 680 pumped storage

Photo: Sofios

Published

July 7, 2020

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Published:

July 7, 2020

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GEK Terna is building two pumped storage hydropower plants and artificial lakes in Amfilochia in western Greece that will use an existing lower reservoir. The government filed its support scheme with the European Union’s competition authorities for clearance.

The Ministry of the Environment and Energy of Greece has submitted a request to the European Commission to allow it to proceed with a special state support framework designed for a 680 MW pumped storage hydropower project. The system under development by GEK Terna  in Amfilochia consists of two production units and three reservoirs.

The official studies revealed the project for power storage in western Greece is necessary and also profitable even with increased support. They highlighted its role in helping the expansion of energy from renewable sources.

National strategic investment recognized by European Commission

The Amfilochia complex has been selected as a European Union’s project of common interest under the code name PCI 3.24. It also has the status of a strategic investment in Greece.

Total effective reservoir storage capacity is seven million cubic meters, equivalent to 3.97 GWh. The Agios Georgios unit has five million cubic meters and it will work with four reversible Francis-type turbines of an overall 460 MW or 496 MW in pumping mode.

Total pumping mode capacity is 730 MW

It compares to two million cubic meters and two turbines at Pyrgos. Together they have the capacity of 220 MW or 234 MW in pumping mode.

Project worth EUR 502 million

The two semi-outdoor pumped storage hydropower plants in Aetolia-Acarnania in Greece cost EUR 502 million. PPC’s existing artificial lake of Kastraki, built in 1960, will be used as a common lower reservoir.

Their annual output is estimated at 816 GWh (552 GWh + 264 GWh). The system is designed to last 50 years. Its efficiency is 70.1%.

Role of pumped storage in energy transition in Greece

Greece is preparing to replace the harmful coal technology with solar power and with pumped storage it can efficiently manage the supply of electricity.

GEK Terna sold bonds worth a record EUR 500 million

Of note, construction company GEK Terna just issued 7-year senior unsecured bonds worth EUR 500 million, the largest debt package in the history of the Athens Stock Exchange. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development invested EUR 57.5 million.

GEK Terna’s subsidiary Terna Energy had electricity storage projects (hydropower and hybrids) with a capacity of 1 GW in the mature phase of development as of May.

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