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Smart Energy  
16 March 2017

Isles of Scilly becomes testing ground for new smart energy system

The Isles of Scilly, an archipelago in southwest England, will be home to a new system designed to manage supply and demand through renewables, energy storage and EVs.

The new smart energy system, part of a multi-million pound EU funded project, will be led by Hitachi Europe, which will use the isles as a test-bed for its work developing smart grid technology.

The Isle of Scilly is currently served by one undersea cable from the mainland and an ageing power station, reports Energy Storage News.

The local island is seeking to double its renewables capacity to 449kW through the addition of rooftop solar and two 50kW solar farms, while at least 1MW of storage will also be added across households, V2G charging a large storage solution.

With regard to funding, approximately £8.6 million ($10.5 million) has been secured from the European Union’s Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and will be added to over £1.4 million of the Japanese company’s money, with the remaining £754,000 needed to come from the local council and project partners, Moixa and PassivSystems.

Energy Storage News, adds that Hitachi plans to use the small scale energy system to test the impacts of new renewables, storage and electric vehicles in the growth of a diverse grid, which could in the future be used in cities.

Chris Wright, co-founder and chief technology officer of Moixa, said: “The islands are interesting because they are a contained environment which enables you to prove what you set out to do whereas if you try and do the same thing to [a city] the problem is not just larger it’s much more difficult because it’s much more connected.

“It's a very good proxy for what you do next in cities or constrained areas of grid.”

Smart energy management

Moixa will develop the management systems required to integrate battery storage systems and EVs with the isles’ energy system, over the next 18 months.

The company will also integrate an Internet of Things platform developed by Hitachi Europe, which will use home batteries, electric vehicles (EVs) and smart heating technologies to balance supply and demand of energy.

Wright continued: “Moixa’s role in the Smart Energy Islands project will demonstrate how ordinary people will play a key role in our future energy system. Home batteries and electric vehicles controlled by smart software will help create a reliable, cost-effective, low-carbon energy system that will deliver savings to homeowners and the community.

“[Our systems] will be scalable and flexible so they can be replicated easily to allow communities all over the world to cut carbon and benefit from the smart power revolution.”


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