Greece’s Public Power Corp. (PPC) Renewables, the green energy division of state-owned PPC, has kicked off a tender for a 550 MW subsidy-free solar plant at a former lignite mine.
The 550 MW solar plant will be built in Kozani, in Greece’s Macedonia region, which was the nation’s lignite hub for decades. PPC Renewables estimates the cost of the 550 MW plant to be around €216 million ($221.4 million), excluding the cost of PV modules. However, bids for the tender can exceed that sum, said PPC.
The winning engineering, procurement and construction contractor will need to complete the licensing of the plant, with only some license updates still deemed necessary at this point. Aside from the PV project, the winning contractor will also need to build two substations and upgrade the local electricity transmission line. However, the contractor will not have to buy and transport the solar panels, as PPC will arrange this separately.
Eligible bidders should be legal entities in the European Union or the European Economic Area and meet specific business and financial criteria, with established PV portfolios. Their offers should be submitted digitally by Sept. 30 at the latest. The project’s construction phase should not exceed 22 months, said PPC Renewables, although the EPC contract will have a duration of 48 months in total.
The new 550 MW plant is part of PPC’s master plan to install 3 GW of PV capacity on the Peloponnese Peninsula in southern Greece and in the former mining region of Kozani in the north.
PPC Renewables’ chief executive, Konstantinos Mavros, told pv magazine that the new 550 MW plant won’t participate in Greece’s renewable power tenders scheme. Instead, the new project in Kozani will operate subsidy-free, based on a power purchase agreement (PPA) signed between PPC Renewables and its parent, Greece’s dominant electricity supplier.
Mavros said the 550 MW plant in Kozani is the company’s second subsidy-free, PPA-based solar project. It already has a 50 MW solar array under construction in Megalopolis, a mining town on the Peloponnese Peninsula. The EPC contract for that project was won by Greece’s Terna Energy in the summer of 2021.
In October, PPC Renewables signed a deal with Germany’s RWE to develop 2 GW of coal-mine solar capacity. Mavros has since visiting RWE’s headquarters in Germany in July. However, he noted that the 550 MW plant in Kozani and the 50 MW park in Megalopolis are not part of the company’s partnership with RWE.