Cyprus - Growth likely to slow as high tariff is recalculated

CYPRUS: Cyprus expects to see cumulative installed wind capacity rise 31.5MW to 165.5MW this year, according to a forecast by Cyprus Energy Regulatory Authority (CERA), which would see the country reach the target originally set for 2013 one year early. Last year, with the commissioning of two new wind farms, total wind capacity jumped 52MW to 134MW. The country's first 82MW wind farm came online in 2010.

With modest wind resources, Cyprus has attracted developers with a generous tariff of EUR0.166/kWh for 20 years. Because the tariff applies to the first 165MW of capacity, progress on projects above that should slow until the new incentive is known. A preliminary CERA study has indicated the new tariff should be about EUR0.145/kWh.

Cyprus has so far enjoyed its experience with wind power. Wincono Cyprus managing director Sylvia Trabert says it has experienced no grid difficulties since its 31.5MW Alexigros wind farm was commissioned in November. Integration of wind into the grid may be facilitated by the 72-hour production forecasts that producers are required to provide daily to the transmission system operator (TSO).

"We have also experienced a lot of support and assistance from the utility EAC (Electricity Authority of Cyprus) and the TSO," notes Trabert. "This has helped overcome the typical teething problems, especially in a place where there is not a lot of experience with the operation of renewable-energy sources."