Greece’s Public Power Corporation (PPC) has launched Europe’s second hybrid renewable energy park, combining wind and hydraulic power, on the Aegean island of Ikaria.
The park is part of the utility’s vision to turn many of Greece’s off-grid islands into renewably powered ones.
PPC, which is 51 percent-owned by the state, built Europe’s first wind power park on Kythnos island in 1983.
More than three decades later, it operates only 3 percent of Greece’s total capacity from renewables, equating to 150 megawatts, as government policies have forced it focus on coal.
However, a commitment to shut down coal-fired plants generating nearly 2 gigawatts of power in the coming years under a European policy to fight climate change and high CO2 emission costs has prompted PPC to refocus on renewables.
The 6.9-megawatt project – similar to one located on El Hierro, the smallest of the Canary Islands – will replace part of the power now produced by an oil-fired station on Ikaria, cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 13,800 tons a year.
It will allow Ikaria to meet 50 percent of its energy needs through renewable sources.