EUROPE: Mitsubishi Electric R&D Centre Europe BV has started a demand response demonstration project to evaluate the effectiveness of heat pumps in providing energy independence for remote islands.
The experiment will see Mitsubishi Electric heat pumps deployed on the Aran Islands in the North Atlantic off the west coast of Ireland, and San Pietro Island, which is off the south western coast of Sardinia.
Part of the four-year REACT project, which is co-funded by the European Union Horizon 2020 programme, the experiments are being carried out on 24 houses and community buildings on Inis Mór, the largest of the three Aran islands, and in 30 dwellings and community buildings on San Pietro.
Remote islands suffer from several barriers in the traditional electrical grid model. This affects the island’s energy security and increases energy costs that are up to 400% higher than on the mainland.
The REACT islands are expected to make maximum use of renewable energy to achieve an increased level of energy independence.
Part of Innovation Action, the REACT project involves 22 partners in total including companies and academic institutions from 11 EU countries. The project will demonstrate a community-centric approach to energy management for remote islands using distributed renewable energy generation and storage technologies with demand-response to balance power supply and demand.
The project aims to achieve energy savings of 10%, a 60% reduction in greenhouse gases, and a 50% increase in the use of renewable energy.
Mitsubishi Electric R&D Centre Europe comprises two entities: one located in Rennes, France and the other in Livingston, UK.