The UN peacekeeping force has approved the construction of a solar park in the buffer zone.
The solar park will be built by the Greek Cypriot University of Cyprus and will be the first construction project within the buffer zone since 1974. It is scheduled for completion during 2013 and will supply electricity to the university campus.
The 10 megawatt solar park will cost 16 million Euros and will be linked to the Greek electricity power grid to enable excess electricity to be fed into the system. All revenues from the sale of excess electricity to the grid will go towards student scholarships.
The Republic of Cyprus has one of the highest targets in Europe for percentage of power produced by solar energy. By 2020 they hope to be producing 7% of their power from solar energy.
Facing growing energy costs, solar parks (also known as solar photovoltaic power stations) are gaining popularity around the world. In Germany, a global leader in solar power, investment last year in this clean source of energy exceeded investment in gas, oil and coal power plants. The largest solar park in the world is currently being built in Yuma County, Arizona, which, on its completion in 2014, it is expected to produce 397 megawatts.