A few residents of the Isle of Wight, 65,000 population off the coast of England, are hoping to make half its homes energy and water self-sufficient by 2020. But they have not dropped their main technology partner ITM Power in favour of fuel cell provider Dantherm Power. (Correction: earlier versions of this story said ITM had been dropped but Eco-Island stated this was not the case.The company said: “Ecoisland Partnership CIC confirms that it has not issued any other Partnership Contract or Licence to any other Hydrogen Partner nor has it placed any other orders or contracts for the supply of hydrogen technology to the Ecoisland Project other than those it has in place with ITM Power plc.”)
Ecoisland, a Community Interest Company hopes to offer the domestic renewable energy storage solution after first testing it on a single home, believe to be that of Ecoisland founder David Green. The island’s local government has not endorsed the campaign but the term ecoisland was coined by the ex-CEO of IOW Council, Joe Duckworth during his short tenure.
Ecoisland intends to offer residents an energy storage infrastructure that can “make the best use of the energy being produced,” says Mr Green.
Should the trial prove successful, Ecoisland intends to promote, finance and supply domestic renewable energy storage solutions for installation in potentially half of the 65,000 homes on the island. The parties expect that the trial will commence by the end of April 2013 and will run for approximately three months.
The 5kW fuel cell system from Dantherm Power will generate hydrogen directly from solar panels on the home. The hydrogen will be stored in cylinders and then put through a fuel cell when energy is needed (for example, to power the night-time energy requirements of the house). The cost of the technology is estimated at about £70,000 per house by www.off-grid.net
Eco-Island claim that the island”s smart grid infrastructure will be able to transmit the stored energy to each part of the island where and when it is needed. But the cost vs the number of users does not equate.
“Decentralised hydrogen storage in homes will therefore allow the island to maximise its renewable resources and will be essential for reaching the island”s ambitions of being energy-independent by 2020,” says Ecoisland.
If successful, this project will allow clean, renewable energy to be stored so it is used conveniently and safely, and on a local basis that minimises energy transmission losses. But it is to clear how the economics stack up.
David Green of Ecoisland commented: “The cost-effective storage of renewable energy on a local basis is the “holy grail” of the renewable energy industry and we hope that this project will allow us to move closer towards this goal for the Isle of Wight and for wider benefit of society.”
Source: London Stock Exchange
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