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Discussions to start on bicommunal solar park

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Unficyp leader Colin Smith with the EU's Director General of Structural Reform Mario Nava

The Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities are due to begin discussions on the creation a bicommunal solar park, the EU’s Director General of Structural Reform Mario Nava said on Tuesday.

The results of the initial study for the creation of the solar park in the UN Buffer Zone was discussed with members of the two communities, Nava, currently on a visit to the island, said.

The initial study envisages the creation of a 36MW solar power plant in the buffer zone, which will use photovoltaic and storage batteries with a three-hour storage capacity.

Discussions are set to focus on the project’s exact location, proposed technological and technical solutions, the financing of the investment and the ways of sharing electricity.

Once agreement on the next steps has been reached, the commission declared itself ready to provide its support for the preparation and launch of an international tender for the design and construction of the solar power plant.

This project has huge potential,” Nava said.

“It can bring the two communities closer together, further promote cooperation in the energy sector and help achieve the goals of the EU Green Deal.

This initiative comes at a time when a new UN envoy is seeking common ground between the two communities. I therefore urge the communities to agree on all the details as soon as possible so that the project can move to the next phase,” he said.

According to Nava’s statement, the creation of the storage facility will be an innovation for Cyprus which will contribute to better utilisation of solar energy beyond the hours of sunshine.

The commission added that if there is agreement between the communities, the project can be an important confidence-building measure.

The project, it added, can also become a model for further investment in solar energy projects, and contribute to improving energy supply and energy storage in Cyprus.

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