Work under way on airport solar garden
Hitachi is at the final stages of installing solar panels as part of the Smart Energy Islands Project.
The solar garden at the airport, the one standalone site in the programme, is now in the process of being installed and should be finished by the end of the year.
John Whybrow from Hitachi Europe said the solar garden is very important, as well as being the most visible of the PV installations.
He said: "The other panels have gone on domestic home roofs, small installations around 3kw on average, and on some of the larger commercial roofs like the waste site and fire stations. The solar garden is almost 50kw as a stand alone site and that’s important to us to test one of the principles behind the project, which is that given renewables that have been deployed in Cornwall - the wind turbines and the solar farm - there’s sometimes an excess of renewable generation that the grid can’t cope with. What we’re testing here on Scilly is to be able to combat that by storing and using energy locally and being able to keep something like a standalone solar garden switched on when other areas of the country are having to switch them off."
So far around 450kW of solar panels have been installed on the roofs of about 70 council homes, the fire station, the recycling facility and desalination plant, as well as in the solar garden.
John added that the PV panels on Scilly have garnered "pretty good reviews" in terms of how they fit into the local area.
"That’s something that we were very concerned about from the start. We want to bring new technology and cleaner and cheaper energy to Scilly but we want it to fit in with the local environment. It’s such a precious and protected environment, it’s very important for all the partners and Hitachi too."
Smart Energy Islands is the first stage of the Smart Islands Project, the next steps of which include Council-led schemes such as electric vehicles, the Business Energy Efficiency Scheme and the Waste to Energy Plant.
>> Read more about the solar garden at St Mary's airport
>> Read more about Smart Energy Islands
>> Read more about the full Smart Islands Project