The pumped storage unit in Amfilochia is now on track for implementation. After the inclusion of the project in the Recovery and Resilience Fund, on 31/08 the Minister of Environment and Energy, Kostas Skrekas, ordered the disbursement of the “first tranche”, amounting to 100 million euros, to TERNA ENERGY PUMPING SAVINGS I M. SA, a subsidiary of TERNA Energy.
In fact, all the procedures that put the project on track for implementation were successfully completed. The disbursement of the first tranche also marks the start of the countdown to the start of operations. The project has a 2025 completion horizon, like all projects financed by the Recovery Fund, unless there is a decision to extend.
The amount of support for the project amounts to 250 million euros. The grant concerns part of the total budget, which reaches 550 million euros.
The funding process
Community funding for the project began with the payment of the first installment of 100 million Euros.
Then, the financing process provides that with the completion of 50% of the project, the project owner will receive the second installment of the aid, equal to 20% of the total amount of the investment aid.
At 70% implementation of the infrastructure, a payment equal to 30% of the total amount of the investment aid will be made.
Finally, after the construction is completed, the remaining 10% of the remaining aid will be paid.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will have the final approval for the disbursement of the aid amounts. While he will also be responsible for monitoring the progress of the project. For this reason, it will receive progress reports at the end of each calendar semester, from the start of construction of the project until its commercial operation.
Scope of the project
The Project includes two pumped storage facilities at the Agios Georgios and Pyrgos sites, which will share the existing Lake Kastraki as a lower elevation reservoir and will have two power stations with a total capacity of 680 MW as well as pumping stations.
The total installed capacity of the plant will reach 680 MW in production and 730 MW in pumping, with energy production reaching 816 GWh on an annual basis. In the construction phase, it is expected to create approximately 900 jobs during the period, while 60 permanent positions will also be created during the operational phase.
The big difference of this unit from conventional hydroelectric projects is that the water used for the production of electricity, directed from the upper reservoir downwards, can be pumped back into the upper reservoir with the help of turbine pumps.
Pumping is done using electricity generation from RES, which is thus stored as a hydroelectric “reserve” in the upper reservoir and can be used whenever the need arises.
When demand increases, the stored water is released to the lower reservoir and produces electricity providing stability to the system and preventing price increases. This is done again and again, continuously, giving the simplest possible definition of what circular economy and rechargeable natural battery mean.
Positive signs for economy and environment
The implementation of such projects, such as the pumped storage unit, in Amfilochia, creates a cocktail of advantages that touch every aspect, from local communities to the environment and the national economy. In the foreground are the local communities and the residents of the wider Municipality in Amfilochia. With the start of the investment, they will see employment in their area increase significantly.
The completion of the unit is expected to add value to the site and spin-off activities from the lakes, improving the road network and facilitating access to the area with benefits for livestock facilities, beekeeping, agriculture, forest management and forest protection.
The pumped storage unit will also benefit the environment as it will contribute to sustainability and the achievement of the goals of the National Energy and Climate Plan (ESEK) for 2030.
Finally, such infrastructures are the ones expected to support the country’s energy system with the aim of completely moving away from fossil fuels.
The planning and implementation of these projects are the only way to achieve the goals set by the EU in the framework of the Green Deal.