Cyprus ditched energy from renewables

The issue of storing electricity from renewable energy sources in Cyprus has become a problem due to extensive production rejections of both large and small photovoltaic parks by the Transmission and Distribution Operators on Easter Sunday and Monday. This has resulted in economic losses as excess energy cannot be stored and is rejected.

The president of the Association of Scientific Personnel of the Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC), Sotos Savva, stated that for the first time in history, production from small photovoltaic parks has been rejected due to the exhaustion of load rejection options from large-commercial photovoltaic (PV) parks and wind farms.

As a result, the operator was forced to disconnect small PV systems from the grid for the safe operation of the power system. Larger PV parks, over 500 kilowatts, are controlled by the Transmission System Operator in terms of their output, meaning the output can be reduced but not necessarily shut down.

The conditions that necessitate renewable energy source (RES) discharges in Cyprus are mainly created in fall and spring when demand drops significantly, such as on Easter Sunday and Monday when electricity consumption is low. To preserve the stability of the electricity system, excess electricity produced from RES needs to be rejected.

Savva emphasized that stability is maintained with a generation mix that includes the operation of conventional units of EAC up to a minimum level determined by the operator. He further highlighted the need for RES electricity storage systems to prevent the loss of excess energy, and EAC has made proposals to the Ministry of Energy, Trade and Industry and the Cyprus Energy Regulatory Authority (RAEK) to set up storage systems in Dhekelia. European funds are available for EAC to proceed with the creation of storage facilities.

The issue of storing renewable energy is not unique to Cyprus, as Greece and other European countries have also faced similar problems due to the rapid development of the photovoltaic sector without adequate provisions for storage. The Department of Energy, Trade and Industry in Cyprus acknowledges that storage can mitigate the problem of excess energy rejection from RES, but it is not the only solution. Director Haralambos Roussos stated that renewable energy storage is included in the ministry’s plans.


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