Image: Tom Corser/Coray.

Hitachi Europe has launched a tender for the deployment of almost 450kW of solar PV across the Isles of Scilly as it prepares to roll out the first technologies included in its landmark Smart Energy Islands project.

The multi-million pound European Union funded initiative is set to provide the isles with a new smart energy system, using new software platforms to manage supply and demand and double renewables capacity to 449kW.

This will be done through the deployment of solar PV across 74 domestic properties and six larger sites, one being a 48kW ground mount array at the Isles of Scilly airport. The largest solar project included in the tender is a 63kW rooftop installation at the Porthmullen waste facility.

All of the domestic properties – to have a combined capacity of 267kW – have already been selected and will require roof-mounted PV, with six integrated systems and two homes which are to have PV tiles installed. This will need the successful contractor to redesign the roofs of these properties to accommodate the less traditional systems.

In addition, ten of these homes have been selected to become ‘Smart Homes’ and will be equipped with different technology packages combining PV, home energy management systems and a heating system and/or battery.

The installation of eight air source heat pumps in social homes is also included in the tender.

The non-domestic systems will provide an additional 182kW, including a 48kW ground mount site at the Isles of Scilly airport, which will also receive an 11.4kW rooftop system on site.

A number of other smaller commercial rooftop systems are also being planned in addition to the Porthmullen project.

The tender was opened earlier this week (12 December) and will remain open until 18 January 2018. Fixed capped fee quotes for the provision of the services are being requested within a range of £750,000 to £1.2 million, exclusive of VAT, and are expected to cover a 24 week contract duration including both pre-construction and on site periods.

The successful tender will be confirmed on 25 January, with the anticipated contract expected to commence on 8 February.

The tender constitutes part of ‘activity 2’ of the Smart Energy Islands initiative, which includes the direct deployment of renewable technologies onto the islands.  This will facilitate initial data collection of generation data to develop local generation profiles for the islands to be used later in the project.

The entire programme aims to cut electricity bills by 40%, meet 40% of energy demand through renewables, and see electric and low-carbon cars make up 40% of vehicles.

It was recently awarded almost £3 million in government funding following its inclusion in the recent  Industrial Strategy to help create “a learning laboratory” to be used as a model for the rest of the UK.

The funding from the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) was in part expected to be used to fund ten solar canopies across the islands however it is unknown how these projects interact with the new solar tender.