The electricity system of Cyprus faces various challenges, since it is isolated, without interconnections with neighboring power grids. For example, there is a limit to the penetration rate of renewable energy sources (res) that can be installed without compromising the safe operation of the system. During periods of low demand, the number of synchronized generators connected to the system is significantly reduced resulting in system inertia levels being low. This increases the rate of falling frequency in the case of loss of output events, and by extension, the potential for instability in the electrical system.

Researchers of the centre of Excellence for research and innovation “Koios” of the University of Cyprus, in collaboration with all the main electricity operators in Cyprus, as well as with significant contribution from companies and organizations active in this field, developed smart tools and technologies for the modernization of the electricity system of Cyprus, aiming at enhancing its stability and reliability, even when Res penetration is large.

The first major step towards achieving this goal was the installation of state – of-the-art meters for synchronized phasor measurement Units (PMUs) at 18 selected transmission substations of the Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC), thus achieving accurate monitoring of the state of the electricity grid of Cyprus in real time. It is noted that for the transfer, collection and processing of synchronized measurements from the PMUs to the National Energy Control Center of Cyprus (NCCEE), it was necessary to strengthen the communication infrastructure of the 18 substations, as well as the installation of an advanced Server system software in the NCCEE.

Subsequently, researchers of “Koios” in cooperation with the Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC) and the Transmission System Operator of Cyprus (TSOs), developed innovative monitoring and control solutions, based on synchronized measurements from PMUs. These solutions can improve the stability and performance of an electrical power system with increased penetration of renewable energy sources. Among these solutions was the development of a dynamic state estimator to monitor network operation every 20 ms, as well as the development of a controller to strongly dampen oscillations in the network. It is stressed that all the smart solutions and tools developed have been integrated into a common platform which is accessible by the TSO in order to enhance the situational awareness and control capabilities of the system administrators.

At the same time, another big step for the modernization of the island power system of Cyprus was the exploration of the flexibility of energy storage solutions, in order to increase the participation of RES in the final consumption of electricity. To this end, the research team of “Koios” developed and implemented a sophisticated control tool for energy storage systems in order to support the integration of renewable energy sources. This innovative control tool has been integrated into one software platform and applied to two pilot systems currently in operation. In the first pilot, a battery storage system has been connected to Aeolian Dynamics ‘ wind and photovoltaic power plant, to support grid stability, compensating for unpredictable variation in energy generated by renewables. In the second pilot, a battery and a flywheel storage system have been installed on the campus of the University of Cyprus, to provide ancillary services to active distribution networks with significant penetration of photovoltaics. These services enhance the use and quality of grid power, while at the same time reducing the consumer’s electricity costs.

The development of innovative technological monitoring and control solutions for the electrical power system of Cyprus, as well as res storage technologies, is a successful result of synergy between academia, industry, public and private bodies in Cyprus. These technologies facilitate the green and digital transition of Cyprus ‘energy infrastructure, while bringing multiple socio-economic and environmental benefits, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving citizens’ quality of life.

The above technologies were developed in the framework of the Research Project “EMPOWER”, which was co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the Republic of Cyprus through the foundation for research and innovation. “EMPOWER” was one of the most important research projects of the Associate Professor of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering of the University of Cyprus, Mr. Elias Kyriakides on the electrical power system of Cyprus and the energy community. It was also his vision to rank Cyprus among the first electric power systems worldwide to be fully observable at the transmission level, using advanced monitoring technology such as phaserometer meters.

*Dr. Panagiotis Dimitriou, Postdoctoral Researcher “Koios” Centre Of Excellence, University Of Cyprus

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