Cyprus has moved closer to reaching the European Union’s renewable energy target by 2020 (20% energy from renewable sources), and to reaching its specific target of supplying 13 % from such sources. The first in Cypress, near Paphos, owned by the local DK Wind Supply Ltd., is the largest of its kind in the Mediterranean region. It is expected to be operational by the summer of 2010!
The 82 megawatt Orites wind farm, consisting of 41 wind turbines, is expected to reduce Cyprus’ carbon emissions by 100.000 tons annually. In fact, the farm will produce 10% of the island’s total energy generation capacity, and represents almost 3 percent of Cyprus’s requirements toward EU regulations and targets. In the long run, the project is approved for a total of 140 megawatt when complete. It’s promoted by the European Renewable Energy Fund and it’s also the first of such projects to benefit from a new 20 year fixed rate tariff that was recently agreed by the government and the EU . This is an important factor in order to provide financing for the 170 million euro project. Financing for this venture was secured by British company Platina Partners, the European Investment Bank provided EUR 65 million.
Traditionally seen as a summer holiday destination, the Mediterranean island has enough wind capacity to keep the towering white windmills turning to power 50,000 households, save 100,000 tons of carbon emissions and produce 120,000 Kilowatt hours of energy annually.
DK Wind Supply Chairman Akis Ellinas, whose brainchild this wind park is, said: “It was very difficult because we faced governmental people who had no idea what energy or wind farms meant. Some people thought it was a monster, others, something from space.” He managed to satisfy the skeptics by proving that wind energy continues to be the only advanced technology ready and able to deliver renewable power on a large scale. Energy from also has a shortest amortization time compared to solar power and other forms of renewable energies.
With about 6m/s mean wind speed, the area is well suited for the installation of wind power. Economic utilization of wind energy is possible for mean wind speeds between about 8m/s (off-shore) to about 4.5 m/s. Lower wind speeds require higher towers, and modern technology can maximize power production. The Orites wind farm is installing the Vestas 2MW V90 turbines.
This project is hopefully an incentive for other countries to follow suit, and invest in wind projects on such a large scale.