Local authorities in Greece are working on solar power projects to achieve savings in their budgets, lower emissions and secure electricity supply. Kozani, located in one of the country’s two coal regions, aims to cover the entire demand for municipal buildings and street lighting with photovoltaic plants with a total capacity of 6 MW.
“Kozani of the future is climate neutral,” Mayor Lazaros Maloutas said as he presented the first project of the local energy community. The municipality aims to cut net emissions to zero in ten years and the first step will be the construction of 6 MW in solar power plants.
Energy communities are one of the models for such endeavors, where the local authority teams up with institutions and utilities on its territory.
The municipalities of Pylaia-Chortiatis and Kalamaria in the Thessaloniki region took a different approach. They recently said they would install a solar park through intermunicipal cooperation. The Community Enterprise of the Municipality of Prespes, also located in Greece’s north, launched a project for a small photovoltaic station to produce electricity for the vehicles it uses for social and transportation services.
The Municipality of Volos in Thessaly revealed plans a year ago for two solar power plants worth up to EUR 30 million in total to supply public buildings with electricity and distribute the surplus revenue to households with the lowest incomes.
Kozani aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030
The budget for the solar power project in Kozani is EUR 3.6 million. Mayor Maloutas said the ambition is to make it the first municipality in Greece with a zero carbon footprint and to join the European Union’s innovation program 100 Climate-neutral Cities by 2030.
The local energy community will save EUR 1.4 million per year with the planned photovoltaic units, the municipality said, as residents are now paying for street lighting. On top of that, the solar power plants should fully cover the needs for electricity in municipal and school buildings, sports facilities and irrigation, according to the plan.
The Municipality of Kozani estimates it would save EUR 1.4 million per year with the planned solar power units
Kozani, the capital of the Western Macedonia region, one of Greece’s two coal hubs, counts on the Ministry of the Environment and Energy to provide 100% of the funding for the project, as a case study, but alternative sources are also being explored, the update adds. The municipality was one of the first in Greece to equip its buildings and schools with photovoltaic systems.
The projects started in 2012 and 340 kW has been installed since then. The municipality said it has also conducted a series of energy efficiency projects in its buildings and that it upgraded street lighting.
Municipal solar power plants boost level of energy self-sufficiency
The municipalities of Pylaia-Chortiatis and Kalamaria said they would build a photovoltaic park through an advanced European model of intermunicipal cooperation. In the first phase, they will produce a feasibility study, determine a location and conduct a simulation of energy production with special software.
Mayor of Pylaia-Chortiatis Ignatios Kaitezidis stressed the cooperation is aimed at reducing costs and boosting the energy autonomy of the two municipalities. “We want cheap green energy that we will produce so that as municipalities we can be independent, but we also want a clean atmosphere, an improved urban environment for our citizens,” said his counterpart from Kalamaria Giannis Dardamanelis.
Prespes local authority to install photovoltaic station for charging its electric vehicles
The Community Enterprise of the Municipality of Prespes selected energy and power engineering company RENEL I.K.E. to supply a photovoltaic station worth EUR 44,260 excluding value-added tax. It said it purchased an electric vehicle fleet and that the facility would be used to produce power to charge them.
The municipal company added the electric vehicles, of which the first has already been delivered for home care services, would primarily be used for the transportation of pupils and high-school students and the elderly, but also citizens in general.
Prespes, located in Western Macedonia, on the border with North Macedonia, wants to become a green municipality with a zero carbon footprint, the announcement reads. The solar power unit will be built within the Green-Inter-e-Mobility project, funded from the European Interreg Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) cross-border cooperation (CBC) program Greece – Republic of North Macedonia 2014-2020.