The investment will support Greece’s commitment to decarbonise its electricity sector with rapid installation of renewable energy projects
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is investing €75m in Eurobonds issued by Hellenic Petroleum (HELPE), a Greek energy company, to build a solar portfolio with 204MW of capacity.
The portfolio includes 18 solar plants which will be located in Kozani, Western Macedonia, the country’s most coal-dependent region in Greece.
HELPE will raise total funds of €100m, which will enable it to build the solar portfolio.
To be built close to existing coal-fired power plants that are being phased out, the solar plants are expected to offset nearly 320,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually.
EBRD Europe, the Middle East and Africa energy head Harry Boyd-Carpenter said: “We are very proud to support HELPE in developing what will be the largest solar park in south-eastern Europe.
“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.”
HELPE aims to reduce its environmental footprint by 50% until 2030
HELPE aims to develop 600MW in renewable energy capacity by 2025 in order diversify its energy portfolio and to reduce its environmental footprint by 50% until 2030.
The investment from EBRD falls within the Greek Renewable Energy Framework and is also aligned with its Green Economy Transition (GET) approach.
It also supports Greece’s commitment to decarbonise its electricity sector with rapid installation of renewable energy projects.
Greece aims to close down all of its existing coal-fired power plants by the end of 2023.
HELPE board of directors member and strategy and new business activities general manager George Alexopoulos said: “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.
“The project will aim to maximise employment and content from the local community and, starting in 2022, produce 350 GWh per year of zero-emission electricity. We are very pleased to have the EBRD’s support in this landmark endeavour.”