Universities in Southeastern Europe are starting to acknowledge the benefits of renewable energy. The University of Cyprus, which completed a pioneering solar power project almost a decade ago, is now preparing to materialize its old plan for a 10 MW photovoltaic park. In the meantime, it added battery storage to the investment, which will help it achieve energy independence.
The University of Cyprus is preparing a gradual move to its new campus southeast of Nicosia. The complex next to the Athalassa national park is planned to include a solar park with battery storage. The university said it would make it energy independent.
The contract for the Apollo photovoltaic facility is worth EUR 6 million. It envisages completion within ten months. The initial peak capacity would be 5 MW while the idea is to later double it and cover the energy needs of the entire campus, according to the University of Cyprus.
The energy storage component has planned to have 2,35 MWh in capacity. The university obtained all necessary permits, including from the United Nations, as part of the solar power plant would be in the Green Line or UN Buffer Zone. It is separating the Cypriot Greek and Turkish communities since 1964.
University of Cyprus built first solar park in 2015
The university commissioned its first solar park, Phaetos, nine years ago. It has 395 kW in peak capacity. The facility includes rooftop PV systems.
Cyprus earmarked EUR 4.6 million for the Apollo investment in this year’s budget. Major projects in the campus are also financed through loans from the European Investment Bank and the Development Bank of the Council of Europe. The complex will also have a new park with 600 trees.
After years of sluggish growth of the renewables sector, Cyprus is lately experiencing a surge in photovoltaics with the promotion of the prosumer concept as well as in utility-scale projects and the municipal solar power segment.
UNWA in Sofia puts twin PV systems into operation
Investments in photovoltaics are becoming attractive for other academic institutions in Southeastern Europe as well.
The University of National and World Economy (UNWE) in the Bulgarian capital Sofia recently completed two units worth a total of EUR 1.53 million. The project was conducted under the ESCO – energy service model. The contractor, Prostream Group, will be paid from energy cost savings. The capacity is 800 kW.
Estimated annual output is 950 MWh of which 657 MWh is from a rooftop PV system and the rest from solar panels on a covered parking lot. UNWE said they are expected to meet 50% of its energy demand.
Earlier this month, the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina in Serbia allocated almost EUR 900,000 for the installation of solar power plants on the roofs of 13 faculties and colleges. Another six will receive funds in 2024.