Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC)

Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center is located 4.5 km south of the centre of Athens, on the edge of Faliro Bay. SNFCC is designed as a multifunctional arts, education and entertainment complex. More precisely it includes the facilities of the National Library of Greece (NLG), the Greek National Opera (GNO), as well as a 210.000 m² of public garden park which constitutes a vital green space for Athens city. Additionally, it includes a multi-storeyed parking building, several outbuildings, dining and coffee halls. At the center of the Park is the Great Lawn, an open space for larger gatherings, which also functions as a venue for concerts, festivals and films. SNFCC Park ends on a hill 32 m high, beneath which are the buildings that house the Library and the Opera. Therefore, the hill operates as a green roof for the structure, reducing significantly air conditioning requirements.

On the Park’s summit there is a 900 m2 glass-walled “Lighthouse”, a space for people seeking a quiet area to read and reflect or to appreciate the view but also an ideal space for events and exhibitions. Soaring 14 m above the summit there is a 100m x 100m photovoltaic canopy which services part of the electricity needs of SNFCC

The total installed capacity of the PV canopy is 1584.6 kWp and it is estimated that it will produce over 2GWh per year, servicing a notable part of the SNFCC electricity needs. Furthermore, on a daily basis, the produced energy will cover a significant percent of day to day needs of SNFCC. In certain monthly periods the coverage can reach up to 34%. Under normal operation the whole amount of electricity that the PV canopy produces is consumed by the SNFCC premises.

SNFCC has signed an auto-PV producer contract with the Distribution Network Operator and therefore it is not allowed to use the local distribution network as a backup system. More precisely, through the regime of auto-PV producer, passive consumers are becoming active ‘prosumers’, i.e. produce and consume 100% of the produced renewable energy. This implies that, under normal operating conditions, PV exports to the Local Distribution Network should be minimized or reaching zero if possible. Therefore, SNFCC produces and consumes all of its own electricity instantaneously, by synchronizing its consumption in order to achieve 100% self-consumption. Additionally, in case of surplus produced PV energy, no payment measures (e.g. predefined Feed-in Tariff or according to the value of the System Margin Price) are envisaged for compensation

The European Directive 2010/31/EU on Energy Performance of Buildings, suggests that from 2018 onwards, all new public buildings (owned or rented) should behave close to Zero Energy Buildings. In order to meet that objective, an improvement of building’s energy efficiency and smart operation, as well as a better instantaneous match of the on-site demand of buildings with RES production simultaneously with the maximization of their on-site generation should be pursued. Recognizing that PV costs decrease with time and energy costs increase it is believed that BIPVs are going to gain ground on newly built and refurbished new buildings. Based on the outstanding technological methods and practices that SNFCC has exploited during its construction phase, as well as the energy management that ensures highly efficient and cost-saving operation of the building, the applied methods for prevention of environmental impact and the gentle implementation approach of PV energy production, it is believed that more building communities are likely to want to install similar systems on their own buildings. Understanding the level of consumption and export to the grid and how this can be managed, will assist understanding of the potential problems that this size of system can pose to the distribution networks and how these can be mitigated. As such, it is considered that the proposed system will enable the development of a useful business model for the penetration of PV in building projects

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