Hitachi confirms £10.8m Smart Islands investment
Hitachi Europe has confirmed a £10.8 million investment as part of a project to bring renewable energy to the Isles of Scilly.
The project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund and will be conducted in collaboration with the Smart Islands Partnership and UK smart energy pioneers Moixa and PassivSystems. The initiative aims to “unlock and balance renewable energy generation, making 100 homes more energy efficient and supporting 200 businesses in the Isles of Scilly and in Cornwall, whilst reducing fuel poverty through the use of innovative technologies”. Hitachi also announced that it will develop and deploy an ‘innovative IoT (Internet of Things) platform’ on the islands through the Smart Islands Project, to demonstrate “how an individual community can build a replicable and scalable model to rapidly transition from being carbon intensive to a low carbon community”. They added: “Through the deployment of smart solutions across the islands’ infrastructure, the company will demonstrate the potential of the UK to take a lead role in this area “to inform the UK’s industrial strategy as well as to ensure a sustainable future for many regions of the UK and beyond". Steve Sims, the Council of the Isles of Scilly’s Lead Member for Smart Islands, said: “It’s a great project with huge potential for the islands. Hitachi, a global leader, is a very enthusiastic partner and has brought with it other partners with applicable expertise. The cost to the Council is in the region of £200,000, which is money the authority would have had to spend anyway in order to make our social housing Energy Performance Certified by 2020. “Central government seems very enthused and is taking an active interest. The project will help to address our fuel poverty, currently the worst in the UK, with up to 40% cheaper electricity by 2025. And, as importantly, reduce our waste costs to a manageable level, make our sewage system compliant and efficient which in turn will remove many of our housing bottlenecks which are holding the islands back in so many ways. “Much of the funding comes from the European Rural Development Fund, which the partnership was very fortunate to receive post-referendum.” Council chairman Amanda Martin added: “The Council of the Isles of Scilly, on behalf of the Smart Islands Partnership, welcomes the commencement of the Smart Energy Islands project. Smart Islands aims to deliver the Isles of Scilly’s main infrastructure and energy requirements in a sustainable and affordable way, whilst providing social benefits such as skills training and innovative healthcare solutions.” Andres Larriera, a Hitachi Europe Executive and Head of Smart Cities Energy Group, said: “This is a key investment area for Hitachi Europe Ltd. and puts us in an ideal position to build IoT engineering capabilities in the UK to deploy digital solutions globally.”