Renault Partners With EEM To Create World¡¯s First ¡°Smart Island¡±

As part of an effort to facilitate a larger energy transition by the government of the Autonomous Region of Madeira, the local energy supplier Empresa de Electricidade da Madeira has chosen Groupe Renault to participate in the “Sustainable Porto Santo — Smart Fossil Free Island” project which will turn the Portuguese islands of Madeira archipelago (Madeira and Porto Santo) into “smart islands.”

The Renault news is big, but it is only part of a bigger project which has been in the cards for awhile now as part of the larger 100 Climate Solutions Project Campaign set up in 2016 by R20 — Regions of Climate Action and the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation. R20 was founded in 2011 by former Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger, in cooperation with a number of leading Regions, the United Nations, development banks, cleantech companies, academia, and a number of NGO’s, in an effort to support sub-national governments around the world in developing and financing green infrastructure projects.

The Sustainable Porto Santo — Smart Fossil Free Island is one of these 100 Climate Solutions and is focused on the two inhabited Portuguese islands of the Madeira archipelago, Madeira and Porto Santo. Specifically, the project intends (PDF) to increase the current contribution of renewable energy from 15% to 30%, focusing primarily on more solar PV and wind power. The Smart Fossil Free Island also includes extra elements including energy storage systems, electric vehicles and vehicle to grid (V2G, LED lighting with tele management, and building energy efficiency and smart grids.

As announced last week, Empresa de Electricidade da Madeira (EEM) chose Groupe Renault as its partner for electric mobility solutions. Specifically, Renault will participate in developing the world’s first “smart island” which will use electric vehicles, second-life batteries, smart charging and V2G to boost the island’s energy independence. The hope is also that these efforts will boost the production of renewable energy for the islands.

“We are delighted to be teaming up with EEM and Madeira Regional Government today to establish this unprecedented smart electric ecosystem which demonstrates to what extent the electric revolution is changing our everyday lives beyond just transport,” explained Eric Feunteun, Electric Vehicles and New Business Programme Director. “Our aim is to build a model that can be carried over to other islands, eco-districts and cities, while consistently striving to achieve large-scale rollout of electric mobility solutions that are affordable for all.”

Groupe Renault’s involvement will focus on electric vehicles and proven technological solutions. First up, 20 volunteer users on the islands will drive 14 ZOEs and 6 Kangoo Z.E.s for their everyday use. These vehicles will make use of smart charging thanks to 40 connected public and private charging points set up by EEM and Renault.

Secondly, by the end of this year, the vehicles will be able to provide electricity to the grid during peak hours using vehicle-to-grid (V2G) charging. Finally, Renault will provide second-life batteries from its vehicles to be used to store the fluctuating energy supply produced by the island’s solar and wind farms.




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