26 Sep 2013

Evora Micro-grid conference

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Wind & Sun presents the World’s First Wind, Solar & Hydro Powered Mini-Grid System

SMA Sunny Islands And Sunny Boys On The Isle Of EiggSteve Wade, MD of Wind & Sun presented a paper on a pioneering energy system to the recent 2012 Symposium on Micro-grids held in Evora, Portugal. 

Organised by California’s Berkeley Lab, attendees came from organisations and universities all over the world with 25 speakers presenting papers covering Remote Applications and developments in Europe, the Americas and Asia.  The purpose of the symposium was to identify potential areas of international co-operation and key technical, economic, and policy issues that should be addressed in future micro-grid projects and research.

Wind & Sun emerged as having been instrumental in leading the way by designing & installing some of the world’s first and most successful off-grid renewable energy systems.

The presentation described Wind & Sun’s hybrid Mini-Grid system (utilising wind, sun and hydro power) installed on the Inner Hebridean Isle of Eigg.  This was switched on in February 2008 and means that, having previously been dependant on unreliable diesel generators, the population of the island now get more than 95% of their electricity from renewable energy sources.

Micro-Grids are seen by many environmental and technical consultants as the leading technology for the future by reducing dependence on centralised energy generation, increasing the use of renewable energy and providing security from electricity blackouts. The Eigg project proves that such systems are possible.

Following the success of the system on the Isle of Eigg, christened “Eiggelectric” by the locals, Wind & Sun have gone on to provide a similar system for the neighbouring island of Rum (featured on BBCs’ Autumnwatch), the Centre for Alternative Technology in Machynlleth in Powys and are soon to start work on the Isle of Muck.

With interest expressed from the Pacific, the Antarctic, Africa and South America Wind & Sun hope to be involved in helping to establish similar systems in remote locations all around the world.