The Portuguese island of Porto Santo is set to be transformed into a ‘smart island’ in a project announced by Renault and local electricity provider EEM.
The partners plan to create a smart electric ecosystem, using electric vehicles, stationary energy storage, smart charging and vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology to boost the island’s energy independence and stimulate the production of renewable energy.
Renault, EEM and their partners have been working on the 18-month project since the beginning of the year.
In the first phase, 20 volunteer users in Porto Santo will drive electric ZOE and Kangoo cars for their everyday use. These vehicles will benefit from smart charging thanks to the 40 connected public and private charging points set up by EEM and Renault on the island.
By the end of 2018, these cars will also feed electricity back to the grid during peak hours. This means that, in addition to being smart charged, the cars will also serve as temporary energy storage units.
In the third phase of the project, second-life batteries from Renault electric vehicles will be used to build battery banks to store excess power from Porto Santo’s solar and wind farms. This allows the energy to be stored as soon as it is produced and then made available to the grid as and when needed to meet local demand.
“Our aim is to build a model that can be carried over to other islands, eco-districts and cities, while consistently striving to achieve large-scale rollout of electric mobility solutions that are affordable for all” explained Eric Feunteun, head of Renault’s electric vehicles and new business programme.