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The wind farm that saved the day.


Poly Pantelides

CYPRUS would have had a second power cut on Tuesday if the wind farm in Orites, Paphos had not been there to take advantage of a particularly windy afternoon.

The island, already struggling with power supply, lost about 60 megawatts when a unit at Moni Power Station and one in the north broke down.

Both units were fixed by yesterday but on Tuesday the Electricity Authority of Cyprus was worried, urging the public to save energy and warning of an extra power cut.

As the day progressed, the Orites wind farm, churning out 35MW in the morning, started harnessing stronger winds to get to 50MW by the afternoon and then to more than 60MW by 10pm.

"The wind farm saved us from a second power cut," said the secretary of the Cyprus Wind Energy Association (CWEA), Christos Tsingis.

It was by all accounts, a very good day for the farm which according to Tsingis usually contributes 15MW to 25 MW.

"On a good day the wind farm supplies 40MW," Tsingis said; the farm has a maximum capacity of 82MW.

The Orites wind farm is the only one currently in operation with a further six under construction.

By September the farms in Ayia Anna and Alexigros in Larnaca should be up and running, each contributing some 10MW a day, Tsingis said. Collectively those farms can produce about 50MW.

Wind farms work by converting the wind's kinetic energy into mechanical energy and/or electrical energy. How much they produce depends on how powerful the winds are.

Is the lack of efficiency an argument against wind farms, given that the island is rarely windy enough for them to produce the maximum possible? "We never talked of full capacity," Tsingis said adding however that today there could be much more energy produced by wind farms.

Tsingis said that for years Cyprus had been falling behind its energy obligations, those of creating renewable energy sources, which have come to the fore from the current energy crisis caused by the July 11 blast.

The blast at Evangelos Florakis naval base knocked out the EAC's main Power Station at Vasilikos, which resulted in the loss of more than half the island's electricity needs.

The crisis has prompted the state to expedite applications for the installation of renewable energy systems, including photovoltaics.

"But what will happen if tomorrow more units were damaged?" Tsingis said, pointing out that the Moni units were aged. "Simply put, the place will have a general black out because we are currently completely dependent on oil."

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Publication:Cyprus Mail (Cyprus)
Date:Aug 4, 2011
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