The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is investing 75 million euros in the successful Eurobond tap issuance by leading Greek energy group Hellenic Petroleum (HELPE).
When completed, the PV project will be the largest-scale RES initiative project in Greece and one of the biggest PV projects in Europe with a total planned installed capacity of 204 megawatts (MW).
“We are very proud to support HELPE in developing what will be the largest solar park in south-eastern Europe,” said Harry Boyd-Carpenter, EBRD Head of Energy for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. “Greece has a very ambitious decarbonisation plan and it will therefore need many projects of this scale to replace its existing lignite capacity. We are very happy to be part of this milestone project, led by such a strong sponsor and support the transition of Western Macedonia towards new greener economic activities.”
The solar park will be built close to existing coal-fired power plants that are being phased out and is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by 320,000 tonnes annually while supplying over 75,000 households with clean, zero-emission energy.
“The Kozani project is our first big step towards building a material renewables portfolio in line with our strategy and our ambition to reduce our carbon footprint,” added George Alexopoulos, General Manager Strategy and new Business Activities and member of the HELPE Board of Directors. “The project will aim to maximise employment and content from the local community and, starting in 2022, produce 350 gigawatts-hour (GWh) per year of zero-emission electricity. We are very pleased to have the EBRD’s support in this landmark endeavour.”
The investment is aligned with the objectives of the EBRD’s Just Transition Initiative, which aims to address the shift from fossil fuel-dependent economies towards climate-resilient and low-carbon economies. It is anticipated that 300 short-term jobs will be created during the construction of the solar park as well as dozens of direct and indirect jobs during operations, most of which will come from the local community.
The investment also supports Greece’s commitment to decarbonise its electricity sector through rapid growth in renewable energy and the implementation of technology-neutral, market-based renewable energy auctions, which enhance the competitiveness and sustainability of the renewables sector.