Steve Wade, Managing Director of Herefordshire-based renewable specialist, Wind & Sun, recently presented a paper on a pioneering renewable off-grid energy system at the 2012 Symposium on Micro-grids in Evora, Portugal. Organised by California’s famous Berkeley Lab, attendees came from all over the globe to help identify potential areas of international co-operation and key technical, economic, and policy issues currently surrounding the nascent micro-grid market.
Wind & Sun has become a recognised authority on off-grid renewable energy systems after overseeing a number of innovative installations over the last few years.
Wade’s presentation centred on Wind & Sun’s hybrid Mini-Grid system – a system that utilises wind, sun and hydro power to help create a stable micro-grid. The company’s first mini-grid system saw the inner Hebridean Isle of Eigg abandon its previously ubiquitous diesel generators as the renewable micro-grid provided more than 95 percent of the island’s required electricity.
Micro-grids have been widely tipped as the environmental solution for the future, helping wean the western populace off its existing centralised energy infrastructure as well as providing developing countries access to clean, reliable energy.
Following the success of the system on the Isle of Eigg (christened “Eiggelectric” by the locals), Wind & Sun has provided a similar system for the neighbouring island of Rum as well as the Centre for Alternative Technology in Machynlleth in Powys; and are soon to start work on the Isle of Muck.
With interest expressed from the Pacific, the Antarctic, Africa and South America, Wind & Sun hope to be involved in helping to establish similar systems in remote locations all around the world.
Wind & Sun will be helping to spread the word on the potential of its mini-grid solutions at this year’s Solar Power UK in booth B24.