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Isles of Scilly provides global model for EV use in smart energy systems

A £10.8 million project on the Isles of Scilly will provide a model for electric vehicles (EVs) and home batteries to play a major role in low-carbon smart energy systems around the world, Moixa announced today.

Moixa will develop platforms allowing electric vehicles and smart home batteries to be used to help balance supply and demand within the islands’ energy system, although the project will not fund the EVs and charging points themselves.

The Smart Energy Islands (SEI) project, part financed by £8.6m from the European Regional Development Fund, will lay the foundations for the wider Smart Islands programme, which aims by 2025 to cut electricity bills by 40%, meet 40% of energy demand through renewables, and see 40% of vehicles being electric or low-carbon.

The Electric Vehicle Management System will control and optimise how electric car batteries can be used by the islands’ energy system. It will develop learning algorithms to ensure that when electric vehicles are deployed they are maintained at a state of charge best able to support the energy system and the needs of their users.

The Home Battery Management System will also support the Smart Islands goals.  Smart home batteries will allow homes with solar panels to save money by using more of the power they generate. They will also be able to import or export energy to balance local energy needs.

Moixa’s systems will integrate with an Internet of Things (IoT) platform developed by Hitachi Europe, which is leading the SEI project. It will use home batteries, electric vehicles and smart heating technologies to balance supply and demand of electricity. By easing pressures on the islands’ energy system, it will allow them to scale up renewable generation and increase their energy independence.

The SEI project will develop systems that can be replicated worldwide to help communities to make a rapid transition from a high-carbon to a low-carbon economy.

Chris Wright, Moixa chief technology officer, said: “Moixa’s role in the Smart Energy Islands project will demonstrate how ordinary people will play a key role in our future energy system. Home batteries and electric vehicles controlled by smart software will help create a reliable, cost-effective, low-carbon energy system that will deliver savings to homeowners and the community.

“Our systems will support the reduction of fuel poverty on the Scilly Isles and support their path to full energy independence. They will be scalable and flexible so they can be replicated easily to allow communities all over the world to cut carbon and benefit from the smart power revolution.”

EVs are set to play a major part in the global transition to a low-carbon economy, providing an alternative to diesel and petrol vehicles and playing an important role in future smart energy systems. Fourteen countries plan to put 13 million EVs on the roads by 2020, and with 60% annual growth they could make up a third of the road transport market by 2035.

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