Largest PV Plant in Greece Grid Connected

This week the largest solar photovoltaic (PV) plant in Greece, which was built by Phoenix Solar AG, was connected to the grid in Pontoiraklia, near Thessaloniki. Phoenix Solar was responsible for planning and construction of the plant as general contractor. Sunergy A.E. is the owner of the 944-kilowatt capacity power plant.

The project is part of a major push by solar companies into the Greek market, which is the result a recently launched renewable energy incentive program in the country. In 2006, the country’s Parliament passed comprehensive Renewable Energy Sources legislation which provides grants, favorable tax treatment, and a €0.40-0.50 [US $0.62-0.78] feed-in tariff as incentives for setting up business or installing solar-PV systems.

For commercial entities, incentives in the form of grants can run as high as 50 percent of the total cost of a company’s solar system. The government’s goal is to install 700 megawatts (MW) of PV in the country by 2020. This announcement also follows the decision of several companies to locate offices in Greece in order to take advantage of the country’s feed-in tariffs.

In a related story, Phoenix Solar has signed a framework supply contract with Solyndra Inc., a manufacturer of CIGS (copper indium gallium diselenide) thin-film modules. The contract is worth approximately €450 million [US $705.6 million] and calls for the delivery of solar modules between 2008 and 2012. Yearly increasing delivery volumes along with simultaneous price decreases per watt of peak output were also agreed to.

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