Solar panels, batteries, smart heating technologies and electric vehicles are being rolled out in the Isles of Scilly to demonstrate how new technologies can help support the islands’ energy system and reduce consumers’ energy bills.
The Â£10.8m Smart Energy Islands project, part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, is led by Hitachi and also involves home battery company Moixa and energy management specialist PassivSystems.
As part of the project, around 450kW of solar panels are being installed on the roofs of council homes, on a fire station, the recycling facility and desalination plant, and in a solar garden by the airport. They will more than double the islands’ renewable capacity and save nearly 900 tonnes of CO2 every year.
A not-for-profit organisation called the Isles of Scilly Community Venture will sell power generated by the solar panels and use the income to reduce electricity bills for all islanders through a special Isles of Scilly energy tariff.
Meanwhile, 100 homes (10% of all homes on the islands) are getting home energy management systems and 10 homes are piloting a variety of additional smart energy technologies, including smart batteries and air source heat pumps.
Technology from PassivSystems designed to forecast energy demand and control the use of energy for heating, storage and generation will integrate with Hitachi’s Internet of Things (IoT) platform and with battery energy storage technology provided by Moixa to help balance energy supply and demand on the island and reduce the use of fossil fuels.
The project is part of the Smart Islands Programme which aims to cut electricity bills by 40% by 2025. It also aims to meet 40% of energy demand through renewables and support the switch to greener motoring, with 40% of vehicles on the islands’ roads electric or low-carbon by 2025.