CNA News

Cyprus faces power strain as unseasonal heatwave drives demand

An unseasonal heatwave in Cyprus has driven electricity demand to high levels, placing significant pressure on the country’s power grid.

Spokesperson for the Cyprus Transmission System Operator (TSOC) Chara Kousiappa, told the Cyprus News Agency that current electricity demand was  reaching levels typically seen in July. On Tuesday, peak demand reached 1,017 MW around 5 p.m. (local time), with conventional power generation peaking at 900 MW during the evening high demand from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Conventional production figures exclude contributions from photovoltaics which provide substantial energy during daylight hours but cannot yet be stored for night time use. According to Kousiappa, peak solar contribution is around 480 MW at approximately 1 p.m., but drops to about 60 MW after 6 p.m. She added that currently, all available solar output was fully utilized, with no cuts.

As the Spokesperson noted, today’s demand was also expected to be high, potentially surpassing Tuesday’s levels. Evening peak demand is projected to be around 920-930 MW.

Regarding conventional power capacity, Kousiappa noted that 942 MW were currently available. As she explained some units were undergoing maintenance and were scheduled to be operational during peak demand periods.

“We’re operating right on the edge, without any reserves,” Kousiappa said. “As long as there are no unexpected problems, there should be sufficient supply.”

Additionally, a major unit at Vasilikos Power Station, capable of producing 120 MW, is undergoing maintenance, and is expected to be online by early afternoon. As Kousiappa said, if successful, this would provide the much-needed reserve capacity.

She added that potential power restrictions would only occur if the unit fails to synchronize, if there’s a major failure in another unit, or if demand exceeded projections. Kousiappa indicated that the situation was being closely monitored and adjustments will be made as necessary.