A new innovative plan has been formulated by the Regional Government of Madeira, Group Renault and Empresa de Electridade da Madeira (EEM) in a bid to turn Porto Santo into the first ‘Smart Fossil Free Island’ in the world.
The three phase development should take eighteen months to complete, and will start its initial phase by using twenty Renault Electric Vehicles (EV’s 14 Renault ZOE’s and 6 Kangoo ZE’s utility vans), which will be driven daily by volunteers. The vehicles will only be used for a limited time each day, after which they will be used as temporary electricity storage vaults which will be charged from one of the 40 charging points to be set up on the island; allowing surplus energy from the wind turbines and solar panels to be stored in a temporary location.
The second phase aims to use the electrical charge stored in the EV batteries to be fed back into the islands electricity grid during peak times, thus giving the vehicles a dual purpose; both for transportation and as a temporary energy storage unit.
During the final phase, it is hoped that the EV batteries will be able to store the excess energy generated primarily by Porto Santo’s wind and solar farms, allowing for a steady electrical supply to be fed back into the grid.