Eco Island, the ambitious project to make the Isle of Wight off the south coast of England energy self-sufficient, has signed a global partnership agreement with Toshiba Corporation. As a Global Partner, Toshiba will support Eco Island with the diverse renewable and smart technologies that it is bringing together under the Smart Community concept.
Located off the south coast of England, the Isle of Wight (IOW) has a population of 142,000 in an area of 384 square kilometres. Eco Island is described as "an ambitious change programme”, which grew out of public opinion on the island. “Green” issues were consistently high in residents’ surveys and so the Island Strategic Partnership (ISP), comprising of a representative group of leading island organisations, was established to respond to their calls. The ISP is responsible for making sure that the Eco Island Strategy becomes a reality by 2020.
To do this the ISP has sent a number of objectives including having the lowest carbon footprint in England, creating a centre of excellence in renewable energies and generating capacity of over 100Mw of electricity by 2020, and renewing the Island’s infrastructure to the highest ecological standards over the rest of the decade.
The ISP is also hoping to announce major investment and commercial agreements with leading academic institutions that will make the island a centre for sustainable development research and development. The ISP is also working to forge partnerships with business, the latest of which was signed this month with Toshiba Corporation.
By 2020, using a mix or wind, solar photovoltaic, tidal, geothermal and biomass renewable energy sources integrated with Smart Grid technology, the Isle of Wight expects to be the first region in the UK to be both energy self-sufficient and capable of exporting surplus energy generation to the mainland. Going forward, Eco Island will also explore other initiatives to secure sustainability and enhance quality of life while reducing the cost of living, including an alternative transport system that mixes hydrogen, electric and fuel cell vehicles. A key goal is to make the island a socio-economic model for infrastructure development for communities around the world.
Toshiba is strongly positioned to support Eco Island in achieving these goals. The company is an industry leader in power generation, transmission and distribution, with expertise in renewable energy sources that includes photovoltaic and wind power. Toshiba integrates this know-how with extensive, state-of-the art capabilities in other areas, including metering, communications, high density storage batteries, home and building management and road transportation, to deliver comprehensive, low-carbon solutions in Smart Grid and Smart Community systems.
As such, the Japanese corporation will work with Eco Island and its other partners to help evolve initial concepts and ambitions into firm capacity and to develop plans for the integration of the island's wind, tidal, geothermal and solar power resources in a Smart Grid network.
Commenting on Eco Island, Mr. Koji Iwama, President and CEO of Toshiba of Europe said: "All of us at Toshiba are very excited to be involved in Eco Island. This is a project driven by imagination and the vision of achieving a sustainable future where people enjoy a high quality of life. That meshes with our objectives and capabilities as a company. Across our businesses, from power generation through to energy efficient home appliances, we are committed to fostering innovation and applying our technologies to securing low carbon Smart Communities. A project with the breadth of Eco Island can provide a model for such a future."
Toshiba is involved in Smart Community projects around the world, including Okinawa and Yokohama in Japan, New Mexico and Indianapolis in the United States, Rome and Genoa in Italy and Lyons in France. "On-going experience gained from these projects will enable Toshiba to fully contribute to securing the goals of Eco Island and to support the development of a large-scale Smart Community," said the company.