Speedy completion for big Greek project -- At 52.3 MW largest yet

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Wind power in Greece is happening no faster than most construction projects in the country, which more often than not take years to complete. Thousands of megawatts of wind projects planned, hundreds approved, and just 302 MW operating at the end of 2002. One project that has progressed, though, is the Thrace wind farm, developed in northern Greece by two domestic project investment companies, International Wind Parks of Thrace SA and Wind Parks of Thrace SA.

Spread across four sites on the spine of the Thracian mountains in northern Greece -- one of the windiest areas in the country -- and just ten kilometers from the Bulgarian border, the 52.3 MW project has been built in under a year. According to the developers, it is the largest unified wind farm in the country. NEG Micon supplied the turbines for three of the sites -- 51, 900 kW turbines with a combined capacity of 45.9 MW. They are installed at Aspri Petra (22 turbines), Soros (13 turbines) and Geraki (16 turbines). Nordex supplied eight turbines (6.4 MW) for the fourth site at Monastiri. With the exception of Soros, where grid connection is still required, all the projects have been fully commissioned and are now generating electricity.

International Wind plans to expand the Monastiri site, possibly by around 13 MW, and has awarded the turbine supply contract to NEG Micon, says Bo Mørup from the turbine supplier's Greek office. The exact number of turbines for the expansion project is yet to be finalised.

International Wind Parks and Wind Parks are both co-owned by International Constructional SA of Samaras Group, and Damco Energy SA of Copelouzos Group, a Greek industrial conglomerate. For the Thrace project, Damco and International Constructional assumed responsibility for grid connection in collaboration with the national utility, the Public Power Corporation. They erected a medium-voltage network stretching more than 75 kilometres and built a 35-kilometre road network and a high voltage substation for connection of the wind farms to the 150 kV transmission lines. "This has been one of the main reasons why it has been possible to complete the construction of the project in just less than twelve months," says NEG Micon.

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