The KIOS Research and Innovation Center of Excellence at the University of Cyprus is coordinating a new innovative research project entitled “EMPOWER”. This project aims to develop new tools and technologies specifically suited for the Cyprus power system in order to further enhance its stability and reliability, even in the presence of a very high penetration of renewable energy sources.
Currently, the electric power system of Cyprus faces specific challenges due to its islanded nature. For example, there is a limit to the renewable energy capacity that can be installed without risking system instability. There is scarcity of reserves and reduced system flexibility. During low demand periods only a few generators are online and thus the inertia of the system is at very low levels. The system is often not capable of reacting adequately to large disturbances, as proven by the 15-20 load shedding events per year. On top of these, the cost of electricity in Cyprus is among the highest in Europe both for household and industrial consumers.
To overcome these challenges, the “EMPOWER” research project will equip the Cyprus power system with state-of-the-art tools and cutting edge technologies. In particular, the project will upgrade the measurement infrastructure of the Cyprus power system by deploying in selected substations sensing equipment based on Phasor Measurement Units (PMUs). Then, the EMPOWER platform based on advanced and secure ICT technology, will be developed in order to improve the monitoring abilities and control flexibilities for the system operator. In addition, the project will develop innovative methodologies for dynamic state estimation, load shedding, wide area control of storage and generators, and dynamic modelling. Finally, the project will also focus on storage solutions that are adequate for the islanded case of Cyprus in order to improve the power system stability and extend the penetration of RES in the energy mix of Cyprus.
The project’s results are expected to bring multiple socio-economic benefits for Cyprus. The deployment of cutting-edge solutions based on Information and Communications Technology will evolve the Cyprus power system and enhance its stability, quality, reliability and integrity. Moreover, the integration of different storage solutions will extend the maximum allowable installed capacity of Renewable Energy Sources (RES) in the islanded power system of Cyprus without risking the system integrity. This in turn will enable Cyprus to increase the penetration of RES in the energy mix, achieving its EU targets.
This project builds on a high quality, complementary and multidisciplinary consortium that will create essential synergies between organizations with research expertise and stakeholders from the industry. Besides the KIOS Research and Innovation Center of Excellence at the University of Cyprus, the consortium comprises the Transmission System Operator-Cyprus, the Electricity Authority of Cyprus, the Cyprus Energy Regulatory Authority, Deloitte, the Ministry of Energy, Commerce and Industry, Aeolian Dynamics, Phoebe Innovations Ltd, the Cyprus Employers and Industrialists Federation, and the Cyprus Energy Agency.
The Project INTEGRATED/0916/0035 is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund and the Republic of Cyprus through the Research and Innovation Foundation.