A small island of paradise hidden in Greece's Dodecanese is about to play a major international role. Tilos, surrounded by the larger and more well-known Rhodes, Symi and Kos islands, is about to approve an ambitious renewable energy program, with the creation of the country's first hybrid, renewable energy-based battery station and smart microgrid.
The program vies to make the island e independent in the energy sector in a few years.
Tilos currently relies on oil-based electricity from neighbouring Kos via an undersea cable that is however vulnerable to faults, especially with rough sea.
The project ‘Tilos’ (Technology Innovation for the Local Scale) provides for the construction, starting this summer, of an hybrid battery-based storage system to turn the island into a resilient RES-based microgrid using only wind and solar power – the island is one of Europe’s most windy and sunny areas.
The project is a first in Greece, involving 13 partners from seven countries, including Italy, under the supervision of the University of Piraeus.
”The island is extremely beautiful, green and full of flowers in this season and has a long tradition in the protection of the environment”, Mayor Maria Kamma-Alfieri told ANSAmed in a phone interview.
”We have banned hunting for years now and we try to attract a different type of tourism. We have extraordinary biodiversity in Tilos, much more than other islands of the Dodecanese because we have many springs”.
The project vies to immediately cover 70% of local demand with the aim of reaching the 100% target in the future, she said.
”Thanks to this system we could also provide energy to the Kos network. It is a unique project, funded by the European program Horizon 2020 and the population has embraced it”.
The major explained that since the project has kicked off ”we have received many phone calls and emails from people seeking information” and this will ”also bring benefits for tourism” on an island which only has 5-600 residents in the winter. ”This summer we are hosting the Summer School of the University of Piraeus on June 25-30”, and students will be able to carry out research on techniques to plan and build hybrid energy systems.
Thanks to the project, Tilos is one of 12 finalists in four categories for the EU Sustainable Energy Awards, among the group of ‘Energy islands’ The award ceremony is scheduled on June 20.