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Empowering the Cyprus power system with sustainable and intelligent technologies

Power systems 700 x 450

The Cyprus electric power system faces specific challenges due to its islanded nature. For example, there is a limit to the renewable energy penetration that can be installed without risking system instability. Further, during low demand periods, the number of synchronized generators is small, resulting in low system inertia; this increases the rate of change of frequency in cases of generation loss, which consequently makes the system vulnerable to instabilities. In addition, the cost of electricity in Cyprus is among the highest in Europe both for household and industrial consumers.

Within the framework of EMPOWER project, the KIOS Research and Innovation Center of Excellence at the University of Cyprus, in collaboration with all the main electric energy stakeholders in Cyprus (Electricity Authority of Cyprus, Cyprus Transmission System Operator, Cyprus Energy Regulatory Authority, Ministry of Energy, Commerce and Industry, as well as with enterprises and organizations that are active in the energy field (Deloitte, Cyprus Energy Agency, Cyprus Employers and Industrialists Federation, T.P. Aeolian Dynamics, and Phoebe Research and Innovation), have developed intelligent monitoring and control solutions, using cutting-edge technologies, in order to modernize the Cyprus power system.

The first step, towards achieving this ambitious goal, was the installation of the most advanced measurement devices, called Phasor Measurement Units (PMUs), in key transmission substations of the Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC). The KIOS research team, in collaboration with EAC and Cyprus Transmission System Operator (TSO), installed 18 PMUs to render the Cyprus power system fully observable by synchronized measurements. This state-of-the-art sensing equipment supports the transfer, collection, and processing of accurate synchronized PMU measurements to the Cyprus National Energy Control Center, thus enhancing the grid’s stability, reliability, and resilience.

Installed PMU in specific EAC substation

Following the PMUs installation, the KIOS research team, in collaboration with the TSO and the EAC, have designed and developed intelligent wide area monitoring and control solutions based on PMU measurements. These solutions will enable real time monitoring of the power system operating condition every 20 millisecond and provide monitoring accuracy improvement by 20% in the Cyprus power system. At the same time, the oscillations in the Cyprus power system are expected to be decreased by 20%.

The next step towards empowering the islanded Cyprus power system was the deployment of different energy storage solutions to increase the penetration level of renewable energy resources. Specifically, the KIOS research team developed a sophisticated control tool for energy storage systems to enable the cost-effective operation of the power system, while improving its stability and integrity under high penetration of renewables.

This novel tool has been integrated in a Storage Solution Platform and it is demonstrated within two operational pilots. In the first pilot, a battery storage system is installed in the Aeolian Dynamics wind and photovoltaic power plant to support the grid stability by compensating the unpredicted variation of renewable energy. In the second pilot, a battery and a flywheel storage system are installed within the University of Cyprus Campus to provide ancillary services to active distribution grids with massive photovoltaic installations. These services enhance the utilization and power quality of the grid, while reducing the electricity cost of the prosumer.

Finally, all the aforementioned technical solutions have been integrated in the EMPOWER platform, developed by KIOS CoE, TSO, EAC, and Phoebe Research and innovation Ltd, to enhance the situational awareness and the control capabilities of the system operators. This platform is installed in the Cyprus National Energy Control Center and enables TSO to monitor the system with higher accuracy and precision. At the same time, the platform’s smart modules offer an improved experience in relation to the overall operation of the grid.

EMPOWER platform

The deployment of innovative technological solutions, developed within the context of the EMPOWER project, leads to the evolution of the Cyprus power system, enhancing its stability, reliability, and power quality. At the same time, these technologies facilitate the green and digital transition of the island’s energy infrastructure, bringing multiple socio-economic and environmental benefits for Cyprus, such as the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and the improvement of the citizens’ quality of life.

This Project INTEGRATED/0916/0035 is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund and the Republic of Cyprus through the Research and Innovation Foundation.