Large photovoltaic park being promoted near the new Limassol hospital – an intermunicipal project

In what is developing to be an intermunicipal project, Local Authorities of Limassol and Polemidia, are proceeding with point plans for a large photovoltaic park of more than 15 megawatts, to be launched into respective municipal plots in the vicinity of Limassol General Hospital. Kato Polemidia Mayor, Nikos Anastasiou, who had started the effort together with the Cyprus University of Technology (CUT), told us that Polemidia responded positively to the invitation from the Limassol Municipality to jointly promote the project. 

Nikos Anastasiou told us that the two Municipalities, after consultation with the Consultant Designers, concluded that it is more advantageous to make the application jointly, so as not to need double infrastructure. They have secured preliminary approval from their Municipal Councils to proceed with a joint designer to prepare the techno-economic Study, which will determine the viability of the project and its cost. According to the Mayor of Polemidia, the study is expected to be ready in a month and will be submitted to CERA (Cyprus Energy Regulatory Authority), with which there was a meeting and is said to be viewing positively the effort to secure the relevant permits. 

Mr. Anastasiou pointed out that the Intermunicipal cooperation will be based on the proportion of land (Limassol Municipality has 230,000 square meters Polemidia 110,000), a ratio that will also apply in terms of costs and benefits. He further indicated that since the Limassol Municipality has been involved with the largest share in the project, the participation of CUT should be examined by both partners at a later stage.  However, he stressed that CUT is the university of Limassol and must be supported, adding that past mistakes sent it to Pafos and Larnaka, something that could have been avoided if the effort to expand it to the "Berengaria" settlement in Polemidia was accepted in time.

"The political decision has been taken and we have reached a preliminary agreement with the Municipality of Kato Polemidia for the co-development of the adjacent plots," Limassol Mayor Nikos Nicolaides told us. He stressed that the aim is to create a photovoltaic park exceeding 15 megawatts, on a cooperative basis, to meet the energy needs of the two Municipalities, as well as the needs of organizations such as the Cyprus University of Technology (CUT). 

Nikos Nicolaides indicated that there will also be energy available for utilization by citizens who will be able to participate in the project on a shareholder basis, to have serious reductions in the use and consumption of electricity in their premises. "For example, those who live in apartment buildings will be able to buy shares and use their stake in these properties." According to Mr. Nicolaides, the Limassol Municipality has a double incentive to proceed quickly with the project, because it includes it in the actions of the Mission 2030 program of 100 European cities, that aspire to achieve climate neutrality by 2030.  He stressed that there are huge funding opportunities from this and other European programs. 

CUT professor Sotiris Kalogirou (responsible for the project on behalf of the university) told us that there was no contact between the university and the Limassol Municipality about this. He added that he has arranged a meeting in February with the mayor of Polemidia so that he can proceed with the logic that preliminary studies have been carried out and the European Development Bank has been involved in financing.

Mr. Kalogirou told us that several practical problems have been solved and that the project must proceed before the upcoming local government elections, so that there is no risk of it being overturned afterwards. He also said that on behalf of CUT the first goal is to fully cover its electricity needs, which amount to one and a half million euros annually, but also to use it for educational and research purposes.

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