June 19, 2012 / 12:06 PM / 7 years ago

UPDATE 1-Enel GP says 4 new Greek solar plants now producing

* EGP’s Greek capacity rises to 245 MW

* Greece has met payment commitments - EGP (Releads, adds background, shares)

MILAN, June 19 (Reuters) - Enel Green Power, Italy’s biggest renewable energy company, has started production at four new solar power plants in Greece to take its installed capacity in the country to 245 megawatts.

EGP also said on Tuesday that ESSE, a joint venture with Japanese group Sharp, has started production of two solar plants in Greece with a capacity of 2 MW.

EGP, controlled by Europe’s No. 2 utility Enel, is focused on countries that have clear regulatory frameworks and plentiful renewable resources such as solar and wind power.

“Positive signs for a recovery in competitivity and growth are coming from the country ... despite the difficulties Greece has respected all its remuneration commitments on renewable plants,” an EGP spokesman told Reuters.

Greek political parties meeting on Tuesday said they expected to form a coalition government soon and then seek concessions to the painful austerity measures tied to the international bailout deal keeping the country from bankruptcy.

Shrinking power demand, bad debts and poor regulation has created a 350 million euro hole in the finances of Greece’s energy system, which depends on imported electricity and gas.

EGP’s new Greek plants, which have an installed capacity of 17.4 megawatts, are all in the Peloponnesian region where it also has wind and hydro capacity.

EGP shares were up 2.2 percent at 1130 GMT, compated with a 0.2 percent higher European utility index. (Reporting By Stephen Jewkes)

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