The Solar Power Plant of HELLENIC PETROLEUM Group in Kozani, Western Macedonia, a landmark project in Greece's energy transformation, but also a confirmation of the Group’s rapid transition into new, “cleaner” energy forms, was inaugurated by the Group's Management and Prime Minister Mr. Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
It is presently the largest in operation RES project in Greece and in the wider Southeast Mediterranean, as well as one of the largest photovoltaic parks in Europe, with a total installed capacity amounting to 204.3 MW. It is estimated that it will generate 350 GWh of energy per year, meeting the needs of 75,000 households through zero-emissions energy. The total investment has reached €130 million, with significant returns for the national economy as well as Western Macedonia, as over 350 job opportunities have been created during construction, while tens of direct and indirect jobs will be sustained during operation, most of which will be covered by local inhabitants.
The construction of the plant, which is the largest one in Europe with bifacial photovoltaic modules and has a state-of-the-art Automated Monitoring and Energy Management Systems, was completed within schedule, despite the difficulties caused by the pandemic. JUWI has been assigned the project contractor, while HELPE Group subsidiary, ΑSPROFOS, undertook the project supervision, developing expertise in the new sector, fully in line with the Group’s strategy.
During his speech, Mr. Andreas Shiamishis, Group CEO, welcoming the Prime Minister and other official guests, noted: “This project demonstrates in practical terms our decision and commitment to respond, in a substantial way, to the new era of challenges. We have set a strategic priority to create the HELPE of the next decades, overcoming any resistance to change, typical for large organizations with long and successful history. We aim at becoming a more integrated Group producing and trading all modern forms of energy, taking on a leading role and contributing to the region’s growth path. We are accelerating energy transformation, supporting the transition to advanced, zero-emissions energy sources, while modernizing at the same time our successful core business activity. Regarding our new strategy, it is particularly encouraging to see an almost universal alignment and acceptance by the Group’s employees, as well as our shareholders and markets. I would like to thank everyone involved in the implementation of this project, which is now more important than ever in ensuring energy efficiency and consumer access to low cost and green energy. In line with our strategic plan “Vision 2025”, at the HELLENIC PETROLEUM Group, we are implementing a large scale investment program, aiming at a reduction by 50% of our carbon footprint by 2030, significantly contributing to addressing climate crisis”.
Prime Minister, Mr. Kyriakos Mitsotakis, pointed out: “This project is a symbol of the green transition both inside and outside the Greek borders. It is the largest solar power plant in South-Eastern Europe and one of the largest in the whole of Europe. Greece will become a leader in the sector of Renewable Energy Sources. It will adopt new innovative technologies”, added the Prime Minister, underlining that the target is “to convert green energy from a theoretical plan to an opportunity for development for our country”.
A detailed description of the Solar Power Plant in Kozani, the advanced technology utilized and its specialized construction works was presented by the General Manager of Group Strategic Planning and New Activities, Mr. George Alexopoulos, who pointed out the contribution of all those involved in the completion of the project and, naturally, by the local community, despite the adverse conditions due to the pandemic. As he noted, “Within a short period of time, HELPE has obtained an installed capacity of 300 MW from RES and has set a mid-term target to reach 1GW by the end of 2026, alongside developing a diversified, strong project portfolio, exceeding 2 GW through active projects by 2030. We have made a big and important step towards energy transition. We continue towards a sustainable future for the planet, our children and us all”.
The inauguration ceremony was attended, among many other guests, by the Minister of Environment & Energy, Mr. Kostas Skrekas, the Deputy Minister of Development & Investments, Mr. Nikos Papathanassis, Deputy Ministers, General Secretaries and top executives from the co-competent ministries (Ministry of Energy & Environment, Ministry of Development & Investments), the Metropolitan Bishops of Servion & Kozani and Florina, Prespes & Eordaia, Members of the Parliament from Kozani Prefecture, the Regional Governor of Western Macedonia as head of delegation, the Mayors in the area, delegates of Institutional Bodies, delegations from the Companies that mainly contributed to the project, delegates from the Federal Republic of Germany’s Embassy and the Hellenic - German Chamber of Commerce, top Management executives from the HELPE Group and its subsidiaries, as well as Media representatives.