Renewables

Municipality in Athens to launch solar energy community with citizens

Municipality Chalandri Athens solar energy community citizens

Photo: Municipality of Chalandri

Published

April 22, 2024

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Published:

April 22, 2024

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The local authority in Chalandri in North Athens called on citizens to join its energy community by investing EUR 2,000 to EUR 3,500 in a solar power project of 150 kW. The municipality estimated they would return their investments within three years.

A canopy with a solar power plant will be built on a public parking lot in a northern Athens suburb to supply municipal buildings and households. The local authority in Chalandri in the administrative region of Attica said it would also provide free electricity for vulnerable households as a measure to combat energy poverty.

Greece hosts one of the highest numbers of energy communities in the European Union and is among the top solar power markets. The Municipality of Chalandri added it is the first in the country to include citizens in such an endeavor.

Of note, Mayor of Athens Haris Doukas presented the Athenean Energy Coalition initiative last month with his counterparts from Aigaleo, Vyronas, Zografou, Kallithea, Moshato-Tavros, Papagou-Cholargos and Nea Ionia. The goal is to provide cheaper energy to citizens.

Investment valued at EUR 100,000

Chalandri, part of the North Athens regional unit, is planning to install a 150 kW solar power plant under the energy community. The expected annual output is 230 MWh and the facility would operate for 25 years.

All members will have an equal vote, it explained. The facility will cover the entire electricity needs of all participating households, reducing their bills to zero, the local authority said. It also estimated that they would return the investment in two to three years.

The municipality sees total costs at EUR 100,000 and expects 30 to 40 households would join within the first phase. Each would participate with EUR 2,000 to EUR 3,500.

Attempt at achieving energy autonomy in Chalandri

A department of the University of West Attica is participating in the project. It cooperates with the Electra Energy Cooperative in the establishment of energy communities.

“Without citizens and their participation, the energy crisis and energy poverty cannot be tackled. That is why this effort that we are starting is of great importance. We need to change the perception of large-scale green energy projects that only result in ever-increasing energy costs and increasing environmental impact. The energy transition is currently not conducted in a democratic way, thus undermining the idea behind it. We have constant changes in legislation that create obstacles to any attempt at achieving energy autonomy,” Chalandri Mayor Simos Roussos said at a presentation of the initiative.

In addition, the municipality obtained licenses for 800 kW, which would cover more than 30% of its needs, local officials said. Chalandri also applied for an EU grant of EUR 1.98 million for photovoltaics, heat pumps and energy efficiency measures for 11 schools. It said it would participate with EUR 2 million of its own funds.

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