(Reuters) - Dominant Greek power producer PPC said on Wednesday it signed an agreement to develop renewable energy projects with Sinovel Wind, China's top wind turbine maker.
The deal adds clout to PPC's ambitious plan to shed part of its polluting coal-fired power plants to become a clean energy powerhouse.
It also offers Sinovel, the world's second-largest wind turbine maker, a foreign expansion opportunity to counter a possible slowdown in its local wind energy market.
"PPC and Sinovel Wind Energy Group ... announce the signing of a strategic cooperation to develop wind parks and a wind turbine unit in Greece," PPC said in a statement.
The cooperation could involve development of a 200-300 MW wind farm and an offshore wind park, the statement said. Wind parks typically cost about 1.5 million euros per MW to build.
The deal was signed during a visit of PPC's chief executive, Arthouros Zervos, to Beijing as part of a Greek delegation seeking to attract Chinese investment in the debt-laden country.
PPC plans to invest about 2 billion euros ($2.9 billion) in renewable energy by 2015, aiming at a sevenfold increase in clean energy production to 1,200 MW. Failure to do so would cost it 1.3 billion euros a year in extra carbon costs from 2013, when the free allocation of emission rights ends in the EU.
PPC already has a strategic partnership with France's EDF Energies Nouvelles and also seeks partners to build a giant 200 MW solar park in northern Greece.
PPC generated just 274 GWh, or 0.6 percent of its total power output, from wind and solar energy last year. Its production is heavily geared toward polluting oil and carbon, which account for about 70 percent of the total.