RWE to build solar farm in Greece, battery storage in Netherlands


German energy company RWE and Greek state-owned utility PPC have announced the final investment decision for the construction of a 450 MWp solar plant within the boundaries of a former lignite mine in Western Macedonia, northern Greece. They will build the project through their joint venture company, Meton Energy.

The plant marks the last project in the companies’ 940 MWp/870 MW (AC) Amynteo portfolio. The partners are already constructing eight large-scale solar projects in the former coal region, with a total capacity of 490 MWp. They said they expect to connect the installations to the grid this year.

Construction work on the latest plant, Orycheio Dei Amynteo, is scheduled to start in the coming months, with commissioning expected by the end of 2025. Meton Energy has signed a 10-year bilateral power purchase agreement (PPA) with PPC and RWE Supply & Trading, which will purchase the green electricity.

The latest project has accumulated €255.4 million ($274.5 million) of investment, subject to financial close. This includes €127.7 million from the European Union’s NextGenerationEU funds via the Recovery and Resilience Facility. The companies have secured another €76.6 million through commercial debt from Alpha Bank, Eurobank and National Bank of Greece, in addition to €51.1 million of shareholders’ equity.

“With our latest investment decision, we have prepared the ground for an additional 450 MW photovoltaic plant – RWE’s largest solar project under construction to date,” says said Katja Wünschel, CEO of RWE Renewables Europe & Australia. “This underpins our strong commitment to the Greek market with nearly 1 GW of solar capacity under construction and large-scale solar projects of similar size under development.”

Earlier this month, PPC announced financing for a 550 MW PV plant in the same region, as part of wider plans to install 3 GW of solar in former mining areas.

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Separately, RWE has started building its first utility-scale battery storage project in the Netherlands. The German energy company said on Wednesday that the 35 MW/41 MWh battery energy storage facility will feature a total of 110 lithium-ion battery racks installed at its Eemshaven power plant on a site spanning 3,000 square meters. 

The storage system will supply control energy and operate in wholesale markets from 2025. It has been designed to be virtually coupled across technologies with RWE power plants in the Netherlands, including the company's OranjeWind offshore wind farm, which is currently in development.

“RWE’s first utility-scale battery storage project in the Netherlands is a big step towards a reliable electricity supply in an increasingly green national energy system,” said Roger Miesen, CEO of RWE Generation and country chair for the Netherlands. “Thus, we are actively contributing towards stabilizing the Dutch electricity grid.”

RWE operates battery storage systems with an overall global capacity of around 500 MW and has more than 1 GW of battery storage projects under construction worldwide, including a 220 MW project in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. It plans to expand its global battery storage business to 6 GW by 2030.

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