A Greek government inter-ministerial committee last week labeled a photovoltaic project, combining lithium batteries and an electrolyser, a strategic investment, meaning it can benefit from fast licensing processes and easy access to the electrical network.

Greece’s inter-ministerial committee, chaired by the Minister of Development and Investments and attended by several other cabinet ministers, agreed on Thursday to grant a new hydrogen project so-called “strategic investment” status for the country. .

In concrete terms, the committee, made up of eight ministers and vice-ministers, has labeled a 200 MW photovoltaic project, to be developed with a cluster of lithium-ion batteries totaling 100 MW and a 50 MW electrolyser capable of producing 16 tonnes of hydrogen. per day, as strategic. The battery component MWh has not been released.

The project represents an investment of 226.4 million euros ($224.4 million) and is expected to generate 442 new jobs during the construction phase and 24 jobs during operation, the government press release said. Bluesky300 IKE, the Greek subsidiary of British solar developer Hive Energy, supports it.

This is not the only green energy project that Hive Energy is looking to build in Greece. photo magazine learned that the company has at least 250 MW of additional PV capacity in its portfolio in the country, which has been qualified as a strategic investment by the same government committee in the past. However, these projects are not yet built.

Strategic investments

So-called strategic investment projects are not new. Investors who believe their projects may be of strategic importance to the country can contact Enterprise Greece, a state agency billing itself as “the official investment and trade promotion agency of the Greek state, operating under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs”.

The agency then processes the investor’s request. If the project meets the criteria for strategic investment, it will be submitted to the interministerial committee for approval. This process requires investors to pay a fee to Enterprise Greece for administering an application.

Such a fee tends to be worthwhile because approved strategic projects may be eligible for state funding, although this is not always granted. More importantly, mission-critical projects can take advantage of faster licensing processes at all stages of project development.

According to a new policy decision by the Ministry of Energy and Environment, renewable energy projects qualified as strategic investments will also become a priority for grid connection.

Previous Greek governments have argued that strategic investment projects are necessary for the country to benefit from capital investment in key areas of the local economy. However, no government has yet fully defined the specific factors that make a project strategic. For example, the interministerial committee has often approved photovoltaic projects that do not combine any innovative element such as hydrogen.

Strategic investments are not just about energy projects. Last week, the same inter-ministerial committee qualified the development of a hotel complex in Mykonos, one of Greece’s best-known tourist destinations, as strategic.

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