The ministerial decision, that will initiate the program that will turn Astypalea into a “green” island, is now ready.

The Special Pilot Project of Astypalea will consist of new power generation units from RES (Renewable Energy Sources) in combination with electricity storage and will implement measures to manage production and energy demand on the island, which will also depend on the charging network for electric vehicles.

The Hybrid Station will be implemented in two phases. In the first phase, a photovoltaic power plant of at least 3 MW (megawatts), energy storage systems over 7.2 MWh (megawatt hours) as well as the management infrastructure will be constructed. The specific infrastructure will cover at least 50% of the annual electricity demand in Astypalea through “green” energy, including the production of electricity from RES stations that are already installed and operating in the island of the Dodecanese chain, as well as priority coverage of the energy demand for charging of electric vehicles.

According to the design, during the implementation of the first phase, for the safe operation of the electrical system, the operation of the thermal units of the PPC Local Production Station will not be interrupted, even if this proves in practice that it is possible through the available production of RES and stored energy. The goal set by the Ministerial Decision for the commercial operation of the hybrid system is 20 months from the issuance of the Producer Certificate.

The second phase of construction aims to increase the level of RES penetration by at least 80% of the annual electricity demand. Therefore, the production capacity of RES will increase, as well as the capacity of storage systems. In this phase, the halt of operation of the polluting thermal units is also foreseen, provided that the smooth supply of the electrical system is ensured.

Fast track competitions and licensing

Fast track procedures are defined for the tender and the licensing of the project. The first phase of the Competitive Process should be completed in about a year. In particular, by August 15, RAE (Energy Regulatory Authority) will announce a competitive bidding process to select the producer who will undertake the implementation of the project and its operation and to provide operational support for the electricity produced. Within two months, the interested parties must submit the applications for participation (which include, among other things, an application for the issuance of a Certificate of Electricity Generator for a Hybrid Station). In fact, the applications for participation are evaluated by RAE as a priority over the other pending applications. After examining any objections or objections, RAE issues the final results of the first stage within four months from the expiration of the deadline for submission of applications.

Within three months from the date of the announcement of the final results, whoever has qualified will have to submit a Letter of Guarantee of Good Execution and Operation of the project, amounting to 750,000 euros, which is 15% of the estimated construction cost of the total investment, which is estimated at approximately five million euros.

After the completion of the First Phase of the pilot project, the second stage of the competitive process will follow. In particular, upon completion of a maximum of two years from the start of commercial operation of the project, the Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator (HEDNO) has three months to prepare a proposal to RAE and the energy ministry in which it will evaluate the management and operation of the project. In two months, RAE will have to notify an invitation to the Manufacturer of the hybrid system for the submission of a technical and financial proposal for the implementation of Phase B, which will be given a two-month margin.

Fast track are also the procedures defined in the Ministerial Decision for the licensing procedure. HEDNO must provide the binding connection offer of the project one month after the relevant request from the hybrid system manufacturer. Following the issuance of the Producer Certificate, the final connection offer and the environmental licensing decision, the producer submits within one month to RIS an application for the issuance of the installation permit, which will be issued no later than one month from its submission. The operating license will be issued by the ministry within a month.

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