Energy autonomy of Sifnos

With the Sifnos inhabitants being, besides consumers
also producers, profiting both ways from the investment.

Summary

Sifnos Island Cooperative (SIC), following a thorough research, is advancing towards realization of the energy autonomy plan for Sifnos, by submitting in September 2016 an application for a production permit to the Regulatory Energy Authority (RAE).

SIC’s project refers to a Hybrid Power Station consisting of a wind park and a pumped storage plant. It is foreseen to have the capacity to generate all the energy required in Sifnos through only Renewable Energy Sources (RES). All new facilities to be installed, will become a key objective of protecting the environment and the tourism product of the island, which is expected to increase.

According to the conducted study, the investment will be profitable from the first year of operation of the Hybrid Station and will continue to be profitable throughout, as the energy demand is secured.

The Hybrid Station will be owned by Sifnos Island Cooperative, in which all major decisions are made by the General Assembly, equal members of which are all partners with one vote each.

Energy autonomy of Sifnos

The vision

Our vision is to make Sifnos energy autonomous by utilizing its inexhaustible RES, thus, shielding the society and economy of the island.

The electricity will be generated from RES installations jointly owned by the inhabitants and the friends of the island who will be prosumers (producers and consumers at the same time).

The plan

In order to turn the vision into reality, the following steps needed to be taken:

  1. create a citizens energy cooperative completed
  2. find the most suitable plan for the energy autonomy of Sifnos completed
  3. conduct the studies required for permit by the competent Authority completed
  4. work out the financing scheme under development
  5. realize the project expected
Sifnos Island Cooperative

The Energy & Development Sifnos Island Cooperative Ltd. with distinctive title Sifnos Island Cooperative (SIC) was established in 16/11/2013 from 53 founding members (partners) and has since steadily expanded with over 100 members in two years.

Groundwork for the energy autonomy of Sifnos

Subject understanding & Vision communication

  • We started gaining necessary knowledge for the Greek and European legislation on social entrepreneurship, the ways for energy production and storage, RES and electricity distribution networks and their evolution.
  • We made contacts with other European REScoops and the European Federation of RES Cooperatives, REScoop.eu, in which we became a member in March 2014
  • We participated in conferences and seminars throughout Europe on RES and ways of funding projects like ours, gaining valuable knowledge
  • We organized awareness events and one international conference in Sifnos on "ENERGY COOPERATIVES, how they can be promoted in the island regions of Greece" (09/06/2014)

Results

  • The island and the effort of Sifnos Island Cooperative for the energy autonomy of the island from RES, was portrayed by REScoop.eu, the European Federation of RES Cooperatives as a global example, through the only video created by REScoop.eu so far, for the promotion of renewable energy worldwide. See video in English
  • We were invited and presented our plan for the energy autonomy of the island in the European Parliament (Brussels, 11/19/2015)
  • We were invited and presented our plan to the Greek Minister of Environment and Energy (Athens, 30/11/2015)
  • We were invited and discussed the project with the General Secretary of Energy and the Greek islands electricity grid administrator(HEDNO)Directors (Athens, 25/01/2016)
  • We were invited by the Ministry of Environment and Energy and participated together with seven other bodies in consultation for the preparation of the new legal framework for RES cooperatives in Greece (Athens, 09/02/2016)

The Start of the project

  • We conducted an open consultation for the submission of integrated proposals for the energy autonomy of the island (February 2016)
  • The General Assembly of the SIC selected unanimously as the best proposal the creation of a RES hybrid station incorporating a sea water pumped storage plant and instructed the Governing Board to commence realizing the project (March 2016).
  • We assigned the conduction of the technical study of the project (March 2016), the drafting of which was completed (June 2016)
  • In September 2016, we submitted to RAE (Regulatory Authority of Energy) the application file with the technical study of the project for the Production Permit (the first of three required permits) for the RES Hybrid Power Station of Sifnos Island.

What follows next towards project completion

  • Elaboration on the funding scheme. Started in July and is ongoing.
  • Following the granting of the Production Permit from RAE, we will submit the request for the Installation Permit. When we receive this Permit, we will begin the construction of the production and storage facilities, expected to last two years.
  • After completion of the production and storage facilities we will apply for an Operation Permit through which we will start production, gradually penetrating into the grid of the island.
    The licensing process and complete construction and installation of the production and storage facilities, until the start of operation is expected to last 5-7 years.

Simplified presentation of the project

Hybrid power station

The hybrid station consists of:

  • a small, 5 wind turbines park
  • one sealed sea water reservoir 1.000.000+ cubic meters, dug in the rocky area near the sea, at an altitude of 330 meters
  • a hydroelectric power station with 4 hydroturbines
  • a pumping station with 12 pumps

How it works

  • The electricity generated by the wind turbines will supply both the grid and to the pumps that will elevate seawater, filling the water reservoir
  • The hydroelectric generators will operate at all times, providing stability to the grid
  • Even if there is no wind for several days, the hydroelectric plant will be able to effortless meet the electric power demand of the island




Financial data based on study

Investment earnings
  • Investment costs 37,000,000 €
  • Annual revenues 6,900,000 €
  • Annual costs 3,200,000 (maintenance, insurance, payroll, fees, taxes, depreciation, interest, etc.)
  • Annual earnings 3,550,000 € (average 20 years)

  • The amounts indicated above are subject to change depending on the licensing conditions of the RAE, the level of grant and loan conditions of the project.

Become a member!

Membership of the SIC is available to adult individuals who are not under guardianship, as well as public and private entities.

See how you can become a partner in the project