World's largest solar park planned in Greece: PM

Solar pannels
A picture taken in 2010 shows solar pannels during the inauguration of a solar panel installation in eastern France. Debt-hit Greece plans to build the world's largest solar park over depleted coal mines in the northern city of Kozani, Prime Minister George Papandreou said this week.

Debt-hit Greece plans to build the world's largest solar park over depleted coal mines in the northern city of Kozani, Prime Minister George Papandreou said this week.

Estimated to cost 600 million euros ($807 million) and with a capacity of 200 (MW), the project's electricity output will be "greater than any other photovoltaic park operational in the world until now," Papandreou told a development event in Kozani on Thursday.

The state-run Public Power Corporation (PPC) said it would organise an international tender to find a strategic investor for the solar park, which is to be built over 520 hectares (1,285 acres) of disused company mines.

Papandreou said the project will serve as a model for the development of renewable energy and will boost employment in a country striving to stand on its feet amid a deep .

His Socialist government has sought to attract investment in renewable energy projects to offset thousands of jobs lost to a recession exacerbated by austerity measures adopted to tackle a national debt crisis.

It has also pledged to gradually shift away from lignite, a heavily polluting form of coal.

Last week Greece's unemployment rate skyrocketed to 13.5 percent in October 2010 from 9.8 percent in the same month the previous year.

The Greek economy is expected to shrink by three percent this year after two previous years of contraction.


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Jan 21, 2011
which is to be built over 520 hectares (1,285 acres) of disused company mines.


Why this much area?

I know of a brand of 220 watt panels which is 1.5 meters by 1 meter (1.5m^2) and costs $660, not counting other gear and installation.

Now if you have 909,000 of these it should produce the stated power parameters, and fit in about 1.36km^2 worth of area.

By comparison, 1285 acres is 5.12km^2, or nearly 4 times as large of an area. It seems like they are wasting roughly 3/4 of the area.

Jan 21, 2011
Why this much area?

It seems like they are wasting roughly 3/4 of the area.


My guess is that they will have several smaller installations spread over that area, with power storage and access roads in between.

Jan 21, 2011
Anyone want to know how much energy a 220 watt solar panel produces in it's 25 years warranted lifetime?

12 hours * 356 days * 25 years * 3600 seconds * 220.

= 86.724 gigajoules

This costs $660 and is equivalent to burning 642.4 gallons of Diesel or 716.727 gallons of gasoline.

At today's prices, this means the value of the panel's lifetime energy in 2011 U.S. dollars is $2221.85., which makes solar powered electricity theoretically about a 7 to 1 return on investment compared to gasoline, but only for very short commuting distances. This is because the panel is 3.5 to 1 times as much energy over time as gasoline, but an electric moter is about twice as efficient as in internal combustion engine...

Whereas if you compared that to normal electricity prices for residential purposes you'd get a "value" near $3131.70, 2011 U.S., which makes it a 5 to 1 return on investment compared to paying your local power company.

Jan 21, 2011
Another baseless comment. I live in Richmond, California, which is doing quite well as a center of green jobs, including solar panel manufacturing and installation. If you're going to collect money for slamming solar, do your homework.

Jan 21, 2011
I don't get it. They're deep in debt and they invest in solar panels which don't have track record of growing an economy and creating tax revenue.


Solar panels provide their economic returns in pure mathematics of cost to benefit ratio, and over a long period of time.

Because the solar panels are significantly cheaper in the long term as compared to other energy supplies, they WON'T increase tax revenues. They will decrease tax revenues as compared to taxes on other forms of energy.

Much like your local energy company, the government doesn't benefit by promoting clean energy or more efficient energy, because then there would be a lower volume of sales in terms of cost vs benefit. This would result in lower profits for the company, or lower tax revenues for the government.

However, as shown, it would represent a 500% improvement in long term benefit vs long term cost ratio, as seen by the consumer.

Jan 21, 2011
I hate to say this, but solar power is one place socialism definitely seems to be embarrassing capitalism, at least so far, with regards for what is best serving the people's needs. Look at the socialist nations, and they are all doing government owned solar power plants which are eventually going to be strictly better, at least during the day, than their traditional counterparts.

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