Naeras - Ikaria's Hybrid Energy Project

The Naeras Project began in 2003 to assess whether a hybrid power generation system would be appropriate on Ikaria. At one time it met with opposition because Ikaria was not considered by some experts as being important enough. Eventually the project was given the go-ahead and the Greek Electrical Company (DEH) started work in 2009. Naeras was formally opened for business on Wednesday, 5th June 2019.

The system depends upon the fact that the Large Reservoir (Megalo Fragma) near to Pezi collects more water than is needed for normal use by households, businesses and irrigation. That excess water is passed through a hydroelectric plant to produce power and then is collected in a new pond near to Proespera. From there the water passes through a second hydroelectric plant at Kato Proespera producing more power. The outlet from that is stored in another pond.

The revolutionary part of the system then takes over. Electricity generated by three windmills installed on the Stravokoundoura Hill is used to pump water from the lower pond back up to the upper pond to be used again for power generation. When the wind isn't blowing electricity from the Ikaria's power grid is used instead. Ikaria will be releasing 13,000 tons less CO2 each year by using its oil-fired power station less.

Why do all this? Why not just feed the Windmill energy into the grid? In fact, when it isn't needed for pumping that electricity could be done. The point of all this is that the water in the Upper Pond is in essence a battery - it represents stored energy! That can be used when needed and when the wind isn't blowing. This gives flexibility into management of the different energy sources on Ikaria.

The expectation is that Naeras will generate 9.8 Gigiwatt hours per year contributing 30% of Ikaria's energy needs, meaning that, with other wind and solar installations, 46.5% of of Ikaria's energy will be 'green'. Construction related to the project has benefitted Ikaria by improving some roads, replacing a bridge, reforestation of some hillsides and providing new, more robust electricity transmission lines.

Enhancing Ikaria's 'green' credentials can only have a positive effect on tourism. We have made the 'official' brochure is available here in Greek (scanned copy) and translated into English. Click here for a more useful version of the Flow Chart.

All the information and photographs on this page have been taken from the brochure handed out at the formal opening ceremony of the Naeras project on 5th June 2019.

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