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Largest double-sided solar farm in Europe opens in Greece, supplying power to 75,000 households

New solar park launched in Greece.
New solar park launched in Greece.   -   Copyright  Reuters
By Maeve Campbell  with Reuters

The Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, inaugurated a new solar park this Wednesday. It is the biggest system with two-sided, or bifacial, panels in Europe.

Mitsotakis promised to speed up permits for renewable energy projects as the country seeks to wean itself off polluting and costly imported fossil fuels.

Greece aims to almost double its installed capacity from renewables to about 19 gigawatts by 2030. This could be revised upwardly as part of the European Commission's fresh drive to accelerate transition to green energy and end reliance on Russian gas by 2027, following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The 204-megawatt solar park in the northern Greek town of Kozani was built by Greece's biggest oil refiner Hellenic Petroleum.

Hellenic Petroleum is one of the largest oil companies in the Balkans but claims to be undergoing a transformation into clean energy. It has installed the largest solar park in Greece and also hints that it may add battery storage too.

Reuters
The parkReuters

How much energy will the solar park generate in Greece?

The park will supply power to 75,000 households and connect to the country's power grid in coming weeks.

"This project reflects our national goals for cheap and clean energy from the sun, from the wind, from the water," Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said at the park's inauguration.

Greece beat its 2020 goal by tapping renewables for 21.7 per cent of its energy consumption, according to the European Union statistics office, and aims to increase the figure to 35 per cent by 2030.

European Union, Copernicus Sentinel-2 imagery
On 6 April 2022, a 204-megawatt solar farm has been inaugurated in the town of Kozani, in northern Greece.European Union, Copernicus Sentinel-2 imagery

However, it will need quicker permissions to overcome delays in installations and large-scale storage.

Mitsotakis said his government will speed up licencing procedures and was set to specify permits for the construction of large-scale offshore wind parks.