Following a briefing discussion, Hellenic Hydrocarbons and Energy Resources Management Company (HEREMA S.A.) hereby announces that the first exploration licenses for Pilot Offshore Wind Farms have been officially awarded to the companies “AIOLIKI PROVATA TRAIANOUPOLEOS M.A.E.” and “THRAKIKI AIOLIKI 1 S.A.”, in the presence of the Minister of Environment and Energy, Mr. Thodoros Skylakakis and the Deputy Minister of Environment and Energy, Ms. Alexandra Sdoukou.
The licenses apply to the offshore area extending south of the coastline of the Regional Unit of Evros and north-northeast of Samothrace and are defined as an area for the development of pilot OWF projects with a total capacity of up to 600MW. The research areas consist part of the National Programme for OWF Development, and they will contribute to the attainment of the national target, as defined in the National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP), which is currently being finalized.
Τhe Minister of Environment and Energy, Mr. Thodoros Skylakakis, stated: “Greece has an extremely strong offshore potential, mainly thanks to its climate and its strategic position on Europe’s energy map. Considering that the exploitation of this potential will contribute to the national objective of developing Greece into a major energy hub, we are taking significant initiatives in this direction. At the end of October we made announcements on the draft National Programme for the Development of Offshore Wind Farms and we are now announcing the first two exploration licenses for pilot Offshore Wind Farms. The extroverted and innovative characteristics that distinguish offshore wind energy can bring great added value to the Greek economy. To this end, we promote the development of grid infrastructure and the necessary supply chain, direct licensing procedures, the strengthening of research, the exploitation of new technologies, etc. The development of Offshore Wind Farms will contribute, first and foremost, to ensuring our energy autonomy, but also to achieving the ambitious target of 12 GW by 2040-2045, making Greece a major green energy exporting country”.
Deputy Minister Ms. Sdoukou noted: “Today is an important day in multiple ways. On one hand, because it is the first official step after the adoption of Law 4964/2022 for the development of offshore wind technology in the Greek seas. This first step will be followed by many more, and very soon, in order to achieve the goal we set when we developed the offshore wind framework: to make Greece a pioneer in offshore wind energy development in South- Eastern Europe and, at the same time, to create a strong domestic supply chain, strengthening the national economy, creating new and well-paid jobs and increasing domestic added value. On the other hand, I recall that in 2022, we established in the Law that the Alexandroupolis marine area will host the first, pilot offshore wind energy projects as part of our broader strategic vision to transform this border region of Greece into an international energy and geopolitical hub. This decision also acquires an additional, highly timely and necessary, development aspect since, after the dramatic fires of the summer, attracting investments of this magnitude in this innovative technology for the production of “clean” energy will constitute another piece in the mosaic of the complete reconstruction and development of the Alexandroupolis region.”
More specifically, the company “AIOLIKI PROVATA TRIANOUPOLEOS M.A.E.”, a subsidiary of TERNA ENERGY, was granted an exploration license with validity for 3 years. Mr. Emmanuel Maragoudakis, CEO of Terna Energy said: “The launch of offshore wind development with the granting of the first Exploration Licences is very gratifying. From the very first moment, we believed that in order to achieve the ambitious targets of increasing the share of RES in the National Energy System, we need to invest in high capacity and high efficiency projects with great domestic added value, while the significant wind potential of the Greek seas had already led us in 2007 to seek opportunities for the development of offshore wind projects. Today, hoping that there will be no more delays in terms of licensing and approvals, we aim to start the operation of the project within the current 10 years.”
The 2nd exploration license, valid for 3 years as well, was granted to the company “THRAKIKI AIOLIKI 1 S.A.”, a subsidiary of the Copelouzos Group, and applies to the same area for the development of pilot projects. The CEO for RES and Energy Storage of the Copelouzos Group, Mr. John Karydas, attended the meeting and pointed out that: “Today is an important day in our country’s effort to introduce electricity from offshore wind farms into its energy mix. Copelouzos Group, having already received the only existing Production License for an offshore wind farm since 2012, is a pioneer in this energy sector and expresses its great satisfaction for achieving this important step with the decisive contribution of the Ministry of Environment and Energy. The granting of the Research License is a first but essential step in the effort to implement offshore wind farms in our country, for the creation of a new market with very important energy, environmental, social and economic benefits, which will contribute to a faster energy transition to the green economy and the energy sufficiency of our country. We look forward to working closely with HEREMA and of course with the Ministry for a faster implementation of the next steps, which will bring an earlier start to the construction and operation of these offshore wind farms.”
HEREMA’s CEO, Mr. Aristofanis Stefatos stated: “Today’s occasion is of particular importance for HEREMA, as both the presence of the Ministry and of the companies’ representatives are an honour and a reflection of the interest of the state and the business community for the rapid development of the national Offshore Wind sector. Our country has a very strong offshore wind potential that can unlock new, sustainable energy sources in the Greek seas, thus enhancing energy security, providing green jobs, and contributing to the acceleration of the energy transition. As the entity responsible for preparing the National Programme for OWF development and aiming to attract the optimal investments, we believe that the response of Greek companies to the pilot polygons is a clear indication of the expected demand for the first round of applications and issuance of Research Licenses.”