HE Crete and specifically the maritime area from Sitia to Xirokampos, on the northern coasts of the eastern end of the island and east of Ierapetra, the north aegean between Lemnos and Ag. Estratiou, the dodecanese on the axis of Ikaria – Patmos – Leros and the cyclads are the areas where the first offshore wind farms in Greece will be installed, beyond the delimited area of the maritime space of Alexandroupoli as a “Zone of First Choice RES” that will host pilot projects with a total power of 600 MW through a special development regime established by law two months ago.
These maritime zones and probably also the area east of Evia include, according to information, the National Program for the Development of Offshore Wind Farms which will guarantee investors areas that are as clean as possible in terms of restrictions on organized development of offshore wind farms.
The competent authority EDEFEP (Hellenic Hydrocarbons Management Authority) is in the final stage of finalizing the national program with the offshore areas where the first 2,000-2,500 MW of offshore wind farms will be developed, the draft of which is expected to be submitted to the competent authorities. Ministry of Environment and Energy until the end of May.
The draft will include the above areas as potential for the development of offshore wind farms and, once approved by KYA by the total of nine ministries involved, the precise demarcation of the organized development areas, as well as the offshore “parcels”. within each The organized area will be awarded to investors through tenders. It is estimated that the process due to the national elections will be delayed from two weeks to two months, in case there is a second round to form a government.
With the completion of the interconnections, the network will be able to cover a capacity of 2,000-2,500 MW.
The selection of the areas was based on the evaluation of a series of criteria (environmental, spatial, economic, social and geopolitical) and after continuous consultation with the ministries and licensing authorities involved (Ministry of Defense, Maritime, Culture , Foreign Affairs , Aeronautical Services, Fisheries Directorate, Environment Directorate, etc.) to avoid ex ante restrictions that could lead to delays.
The first criterion for selecting the most suitable areas was the wind potential, since the intensity of the winds determines both the degree of return on investment and the price of the energy produced. Then EDEFEP took into account the possibilities of absorbing the energy generated from the network.
HE Electric Transmission Operator (ADMIE) has timely delivered accurate data on grid capacity and the potential to absorb additional power in each of the North Aegean, Dodecanese, Crete and Cyclades clusters. With the completion of the interconnections, the network will be able to cover a capacity of 2,000-2,500 MW that is foreseen in the national plan for offshore wind farms until 2030. However, this was also noted at the meeting held the day before yesterday between ADMIE, EDEYEP, which is project management competence law, and ELETAEN (Hellenic Scientific Association of Wind Energy), is that on the one hand there should be some kind of intervention for the allocation of this capacity exclusively to offshore projects and on the other hand, limits must be established for its commitment to projects that will actually be executed, to avoid the phenomenon of sequestration of electrical space by flooded projects, which is observed with onshore wind and photovoltaic plants.
Geopolitical criteria, such as six miles in the Aegean and Crete regions, significantly limit the range of offshore wind development zones in specific areas, while tourism, respectively, imposes restrictions on the boundaries of offshore zones in those areas. Cyclades, which show the richest wind potential. Much in terms of the real possibilities of exploiting the country’s offshore wind potential will also be judged by the public consultation that will follow with local communities and agencies. However, the heads of the administrations of the three organizations that have a central role in the implementation of the national planning of offshore wind farms (EDEYEP, ADMIE and ELETAEN) confirmed in a meeting that they maintained their close collaboration yesterday for the rapid momentum of the projects.
Greek and foreign investors in battle position
The first round of offshore land auctions for the installation of offshore wind farms will refer to projects with a minimum capacity of 200-250 MW. The limit, according to information, is set based on the maximum possible efficiency of the projects and the guarantee of a low price of the energy produced for consumers, since the projects will receive operational support for 20 years.
This means that in a first phase and based on the auction of a total capacity of 2,000-2,500 MW up to 2030 foreseen by the National Energy and Climate Plan (ESEK), a maximum of around 10-12 wind farms will be installed in Greece. seas A number of these will be floating wind turbines with a minimum power limit of 200 MW and a number of fixed offshore wind turbines with a minimum power limit of 250 MW.
The new market that is opening up is being disputed by powerful foreign companies that have know-how and have allied themselves with national energy groups. The law sets high standards for technical and financial adequacy criteria for investors.
According to ESEK, by 2030 between 10 and 12 wind farms will be installed in the Greek seas.
Applications for the issuance of an offshore wind farm research permit can be submitted by companies that have proven or proven experience in the last 10 years in the development and operation of corresponding projects, with a capacity of at least 100 MW. The annual turnover of the natural person or of the shareholders who submit the application for the granting of licenses must be greater than 2,000 million euros.
In anticipation of the first tender for concessions, which according to the plan is held in 2027, the first commercial schemes between Greek and foreign investors have been formed. The German RWE has signed agreements with HELLENiQ ENERGY, TERNA Energy with Ocean Winds (a joint venture between the Portuguese EDPR and the French Engie), Mytilineos with the Danish Copenhagen Offshore Partners, Motor Oil with the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) and Intrakat with Parkwind. PPC Renewables is also looking for a partner, which is in talks with three foreign companies and information to bring it closer to France’s Total Eren. Interest from Norway’s Equinor is reportedly still strong, but has not reached any deal with any Greek company to date. In the “race”, however, the Kopelouzou group is ahead, which will build the first pilot wind farm in the Alexandroupoli maritime area within the first “go-to area” of Greece, that is, within a demarcated area , as provided by the Commission’s REPowerEU toolbox, in which RES projects proceed with accelerated licensing procedures. The Kopelouzou Group has obtained a production license for a 216 MW offshore park since 2012 in the Alexandroupoli offshore area. The project has been designated a pilot by law and will proceed through a competitive process. In fact, in the previous days the pre-notification letter of the project was sent to the Commission, which requires the Community regulations for its approval. The information says that the Kopelouzo group is in talks with two Greek companies to participate in the development of the project. It is estimated that the new offshore wind market in its first phase will mobilize investments of 6,300 million euros by the end of the decade.