The Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, inaugurated a new solar park, it is the biggest system with two-sided, or bifacial, panels in Europe.
Greece has an average of 250 days of sunshine a year, which means that solar panels make real sense here. This is confirmed by the commissioning of the largest ever solar power plant in Europe equipped with so-called bifacial solar panels, which can supply energy to tens of thousands of households.
“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.
Kozani is the main centre of the region of the same name on the mainland of Greece. It is also the site of Europe’s largest ever solar power plant, which uses double-sided panel technology. These are able to convert sunlight falling on both sides of the panel into energy.
“We are accelerating the energy transformation and supporting the transition to advanced and zero-emission forms of energy, but at the same time, we are modernising our successful core business. […] At Hellenic Petroleum Group, based on the strategic plan “Vision 2025”, we are implementing one of the largest investment programs in Europe, aiming at a drastic reduction of the environmental footprint by 50% by 2030 in order to contribute substantially to tackling the crisis.”, explained the CEO of Hellenic Petroleum, Andreas Siamisis
As a result, they do not have to be installed in the familiar slanted position facing the sun, but can also be placed in horizontal positions and used, for example, as fences or barriers alongside roads. In addition, the panels are not only able to process the rays falling directly on their front surface, but the back surface can also convert rays reflected from the ground into energy. The brighter the surface from which the sun’s rays are reflected, the higher the efficiency of the panels.
The park is designed to:
- produce 350 GW hours of clean energy every year, equivalent to the consumption of 75,000 households
- provide income for local government, households, and businesses amounting to 600,000 euros per year
- reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 300,000 tons per year, corresponding to 110,000 hectares (1.1 mln stremmas) of forest
- reduce energy costs at the national level, as the price at which energy will be sold in the system will be fixed at 57.72 euros per MWh for the next 20 years.
According to a press release, the total investment for the photovoltaic plant cost around EUR 130 million and created more than 350 jobs during the construction phase. As such, the solar park will not only positively impact the environment but also benefit the national economy.