Clever switching in SMILE
Community Energy Scotland in Orkney is taking the lead for the whole UK as the European Union explores ‘Smart Island Energy systems’ – ways for islands to capitalise upon their energy resources.
SMILE joins a suite of projects across Scotland where CES is working with partners to overcome grid constraints so that community owned renewables can create local confidence and value, help people reduce their energy costs, strengthen local services, and promote skills and employment.
Increasing and managing the local electricity demand in Orkney will allow more renewable energy generation. Generators there are frequently curtailed due to the limited grid capacity within the island archipelago. When community owned wind turbines increase their electricity production, the proceeds directly benefit the local residents.
Several approaches are being tested, including:
- Integration of battery technology
- Electric power to heat
- Electric power to fuel
- Pumped hydro
- Electric vehicles
- Electricity stored aboard boats
Home heating and electric vehicle charging will be a large part of the Orkney trials.
Local partners will upgrade already established equipment to be more energy efficient and to act in a ‘grid-smart’ way – in other words with the ability to respond to and assist the local electric grid and renewable energy supply.
Operating in real-life conditions will show how well the electric vehicle chargers, domestic heat pumps, household batteries and hot water stores suit local circumstances.
Key to making it work will be ensuring participants in the project experience little or no disruption to their normal routine.
The SMILE project – www.h2020smile.eu – has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement 731249.