Hitachi Report Recommends Investment In Wind Turbines To Reach Council’s Renewables Goal
Scilly could see up to seven wind turbines being erected, as well as new fields of solar panels, if councillors follow the recommendations being set out in a new Energy Efficiency Plan that’s been commissioned by the Council.
The report, written by the Japanese multinational company Hitachi, provides options for how the Council can achieve its stated goals of having 40% renewable energy production, 40% electric vehicle use and a 40% reduction in energy bills by 2025.
Authors of the plan say that to meet the renewable energy target, the islands will need to increase the amount of solar panels currently installed on properties, as well as adding new ‘solar gardens’ where the panels are fixed to the ground.
They also recommend installing wind turbines.
While a single, 100m tall, 1MW windmill would provide enough power to meet the goals, Hitachi feel that this would be visually unacceptable on the islands.
So they’re recommending installing seven smaller 100 to 250 Kw units, each around 45m high.
Potential sites have already been identified, including Telegraph Hill and Mount Todden on St Mary’s, Middle Carn and the old quarry on Tresco, St Martin’s fire station and St Agnes Island Hall.
A survey by the Isles of Scilly Renewable Energy Co-operative (ISREC) in 2012 found widespread support amongst residents for the use of wind power.
Other sources of locally-produced energy will come from anaerobic digestion of sewage and food waste as well as burning gas from waste wood.
It’s expected the bill for this new infrastructure could be at least £8m.
But Hitachi says this will need to go hand-in-hand with a big investment in making our properties more energy-efficient, by adding insulation and using LED lighting.
Some properties could also get new battery packs to store energy generated by solar panels.
The report authors say the work is needed because of the aging infrastructure on the islands.
The electricity cable linking us to the mainland is now 28 years old and reaching the end of its estimated life.
And they recommend moving the current emergency power generator and fitting a new, more efficient unit.
Councillors will be asked to accept the report at Tuesday’s Transport, Economic Development and Infrastructure meeting, which is taking place at 6.30pm in the Old Wesleyan Chapel. Members of the public are welcome to attend.
You can read the report here.