For the people of Eigg, the noisy diesel generators that each house used to own are now are silent and suddenly they have leapt to the forefront of electricity generation using renewable energy resources.
The Eigg Electric project is a world leader in the integration of multiple renewable energy sources into a grid system to supply an isolated and scattered small community. Robin Smith a mechanical engineer whilst on holiday on Eigg with his family was inspired to produce this 4 min video to demonstrate what this community has achieved creating a micro grid that connects together hydroelectric, wind & sun into a battery bank and reserve generator.
This project has been conceived and driven by the enthusiasm of the whole community of the Isle of Eigg, and is the culmination of 10 years of achievement since the purchase of the island by the residents in 1997. It was recognised that conventional mains power was not a practicable proposition, the islanders decided to create and run their own all island electricity system; a system that was to depend as much as possible upon renewable resources.
The real story behind this project is an exemplary tale of project management and what a small number of highly motivated (and largely non technical) people can achieve when push comes to shove. The people off Eigg didn’t choose renewable energy because it was the cheap or ‘trendy’ option. They implemented this system because it was right for their environment. The limited capacity of the system requires that they limit demand, and with the approval of the residents, domestic and small business supplies have been capped at 5kW, and larger business supplies at 10kW. Everyone has adapted well to using power within these limits, and the concept make a very real contribution to energy economy and load spreading, a lesson that many of us power hungry ‘mainlanders’ should maybe absorb.
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