The Greek government and renewables developer Masdar have agreed to help the Greek island of Poros to transition to a climate-neutral future.

The agreement includes the development of a 7 MW solar plant, which is expected to cover a large part of the island’s electricity requirements. The project will include electric vehicle chargers for cars and boats, encouraging locals and visitors to embrace electric transportation. The island’s close proximity to the mainland makes this infrastructure crucial, especially for small boats.

The government said that the project is part of the country’s “GR-Eco Islands” initiative to “green” the Greek isles. Poros will be the third island after Astypalaia and Halki to join the initiative.

Greece’s GR-Eco Islands initiative, launched in 2021 with a €100 million ($107.9 million) of funding, raises questions about which islands will join and the process for participation.

Astypalaia, for example, was chosen by Germany’s Volkswagen in 2020 as the site to test the company’s electric mobility business model. The Greek government supported Volkswagen’s concept. Given that Astypalaia is powered by dirty diesel generators, it ran a public tender for a solar-plus-storage power plant.

Greece’s Public Power Corp. (PPC) won the tender earlier in 2023 and is now building a 3.5 MW solar project and a 5 MW/10 MWh battery system on the island. Upon completion, the PPC-owned project will cover half of Astypalaia’s electricity needs.  

Greek taxpayers will be asked to finance Masdar’s project on Poros, so the question is why the Greek government did not tender the project to get a competitive price like on Astypalaia. The Greek government’s decision to withhold disclosure of the project costs also hinders transparency for the Poros project and the GR-Eco Islands initiative.

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