Cyprus has secured EUR 40 million for energy storage projects from the European Union’s Just Transition Fund.
The electricity system in Cyprus still lacks storage capacities for excess energy produced in wind and solar power plants, so the government intends to tackle the issue.
The stored energy could be later used for consumption or to conduce ancillary services for system operators, according to Minister of Energy, Trade and Industry George Papanastasiou, Kathimerini reported.
Centralized energy storage facilities would be operated by Transmission System Operator Cyprus
According to the ministry’s plan, the centralized energy storage system would be operated by Transmission System Operator Cyprus (TSOC). However, it is against the internal market rules from the European Union’s Electricity Directive 2019/944, so derogations are required.
The ministry needs to submit a request to the European Commission for approval, Papanastasiou said in a written response to a question raised by a member of the Cypriot parliament.
The request was completed and will be submitted soon, he added.
Production and consumption issues are worsening
In March last year, TSOC warned that without systemic improvements, the rise in the share of production of electricity from renewable sources would force it to disconnect such units more often.
Namely, the transmission system operator conducted 15-minute rolling outages for an hour on March 18, sparking criticism. At the time, the media reported that the glitch was caused by sudden clouding, as it wasn’t expected in the forecast. It took a while for conventional power plants to make up for the shortfall.
Conversely, TSOC disconnected some solar power plants from the grid last January, when electricity production in the system was much higher than demand.
The company’s Executive Director Stavros Stavrinos has told parliament that further production cuts would be needed in the renewables segment given the issues affecting power plants and the transmission and distribution systems.