16 Jun 2017

Rolls Batteries on Eigg - ten years and still going strong

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Eigg News 02 GroupThere's a Lot of Life in One Battery

Steve Wade from Wind & Sun was pleased to show Jamie Surrette the CEO of Rolls batteries around their projects on the islands of Eigg, Muck & Rum off the west coast of Scotland, during Jamie's recent trip to Europe.

All three islands are totally off-grid and all are using Rolls batteries at the heart of the systems.

Eigg uses a mix of hydro, solar and wind (with diesel backup) based around a central battery/inverter system to create a true "grid" for the island.

Offering residents, businesses and community facilities reliable electricity and reduced dependency on fossil fuels, this large scale off-grid system now provides reliable power for the 100+ residents of Eigg, generating virtually 100% of their electricity using renewables.

Eigg News 03 BatteriesFor the past 10 years, the ninety six Rolls 4 KS 25P batteries have provided reliable storage capacity and continue to operate superbly!

Jamie inspected the batteries and found them to be in great condition - testament to their great design, high build quality and the overall system design. He was also impressed by Wind & Sun’s high standard of installation and the dedication of the maintenance teams on the islands which should ensure continued performance for many years to come.

Rolls are located in Nova Scotia, Canada an area which has historical connections with the islands since during the Highland Clearances many of the inhabitants of Rum & Muck were transported there. Even today many towns and villages in Cape Breton and Nova Scotia are named after locations in Scotland and it is the only other part of the world where Scots Gaelic is still spoken.

See also: Island Case Studies

Steve stayed on Eigg to take part in the island's 20th anniversary celebration of their landmark buyout of the island.

Once boasting a population of 500, the island was left with just 64 inhabitants before local residents completed their ambitious £1.5million purchase of the land in 1997.

Since then, the depopulation trend has been reversed, with Eigg now thriving and home to 105 residents, thanks in large part to the work of the Isle of Eigg Heritage Trust, which was set up to drive through the deal.

New homes have been built, tenants have been given security of tenure, and the island generates virtually 100% of its electricity using renewable energy.

To mark the achievements over the last 20 years, dozens of guests, including many of those involved in the buyout, arrived by ferry, before joining residents on a procession to the Community Hall.

Eigg News 01Speeches were given by leading representatives from the trust, the Scottish Wildlife Trust and Highland Council, followed by a presentation from the primary school and a buffet lunch.

Wind & Sun are proud and privileged to have been part of this story.