A partnership to help the Isles of Scilly move to a lower carbon economy
A programme of interconnected projects to sustainably and affordably tackle some of the main infrastructure and utilities issues.
The partnership demonstrates that social innovation can be driven from even the smallest communities and provide a model for others.


By 2025 the islands goals are to:

  • Reduce electricity bills by 40%
  • Increase energy from renewables to 40%
  • Replace 40% of vehicles with low carbon or electric.


A beautiful, protected landscape, yet fragile environment:

  • 5 inhabited islands of more than 140 islands and islets
  • 2,200 permanent population
  • 100,000 visitors per year.
Part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund

Hitachi Europe, working with UK-based businesses Moixa and PassivSystems, has created a new system for the islands that will balance electricity demand and supply.

The system will:

  • Learn consumption patterns
  • To better forecast when power is generated, stored and used
  • While optimising the islands' provision of renewable energy
7,672 kWh


Energy consumption:

  • Average domestic consumption per household has been in the top four since 2005
  • Great Britain average 3,921 kWh and Cornwall 5,353 kWh (2017).
00% - 00%


Imported fossil fuels:

more expensive

than on the mainland.



Fuel poverty:

8th highest

in England.

15.5% fuel poor compared with English average 11.1% and south-west average 10.2%. Cornwall 12.8%.

Source: Sub-national electricity consumption statistics 2005-2017
Source: BEIS, Annual Fuel Poverty Statistics Report, 2018 (2016 data).
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Charging station end
The Isles of Scilly
  • A not-for-profit community interest company, founded in 2017
  • Sells energy generated by the islands' renewable sources
  • Reduces electricity bills for all islanders through a local Isles of Scilly energy tariff


Renewable energy sources:

280+ hours

Less than 2% of energy demand has been met from renewables historically — despite Scilly having on average 280 hours more sunshine a year than London.


Smart Energy Islands also aims to:

  • More than double the islands' renewable generation capacity
  • Save up to 450 tonnes of CO2 annually
Energy storage — in batteries and as heat – is made possible by the new system.
It helps to balance demand
and supply, by storing excess energy generated by renewables for when it's needed during peak times.

Electric vehicles (EVs) will be used to help balance energy demand and supply, with a technology called vehicle to grid / V2G:

  • Charging EVs when renewable energy is plentiful
  • Drawing energy from EVs during peak demand
  • All while helping to reduce transport air pollution


396 kW

Solar panels installed


Number of Solar PV panels installed to date


Total annual generating capacity in Kilowatt hours

Photovoltaic (PV) solar panels have been fitted to homes and council properties.
The smart devices from PassivSystems and Moixa are interconnected. Energy can be stored in batteries, heating and hot water — maximising benefits to households.

Solar panels are on:

70 Council-owned homes

St. Mary's Fire Station

Moor Well waste facility

Desalination plant for water

St. Mary's Airport solar garden


of all homes now have solar panels

Smart energy homes are fitted with a combination of energy efficiency and generation systems, including:

  • Solar PV panels
  • Energy management hubs
  • Water heating controls
  • Home batteries

Electricity from the home battery is managed by the hub, only calling upon additional energy from the grid if it is needed.

Stored energy can now be used in the home to:

  • Power the tv and lights
  • Ensure the house is warm
  • Provide hot water
  • The heating is on.


  1. Photovoltaic panels on the roof will generate solar power
  2. Energy used for daytime activities
  3. Charging the home battery and heating water
  4. Excess energy is sent on to the grid.

Night Time

  1. Stored electricity is drawn from the home battery
  2. Stored hot water is drawn from the tank, heated earlier in the day
  3. Air source heart pumps and other electric heating devices for warming the home are managed by the hub, minimising costs


The smart devices from PassivSystems and Moixa are interconnected. The system optimises energy use based on price to reduce costs for the household.


Optimisation happens using the preferences set by the householders – the primary objective is to ensure they have the required level of comfort, hot water, heating and electricity when they want it. However they use their home, they will benefit from cheaper, greener solar energy.

We are part of a wider energy system
Power is being generated in Scilly and on the mainland.
  • Hitachi's smart energy system PREDICTS that tomorrow will be a sunny day.
  • Too much electricity may be generated for the grid. This means some generation may need to be switched off
  • Instead, the system PLANS where to store excess energy
  • The system communicates with the energy network operator, Western Power Distribution, and it reacts to their network congestion signals to maintain generation on the islands.
Moixa, PassivSystems and Hitachi work together to PLAN what to do tomorrow – and where to store energy.
Although the mainland's energy generation is being constrained by the network operator (due to more local production than demand), on the islands the most efficient use of locally-produced energy is being achieved.


The Isles of Scilly face additional challenges when it comes to installing renewable energy systems. Due to plentiful renewable generation in Cornwall, the local energy network experiences excess electricity generation. The newly installed renewable energy facilities on the mainland can be turned off by the network operator when there is too much sun and wind, causing the Isles of Scilly to be supplied with more carbon intensive power options.

The islands' new energy system is built on the Internet of Things. Connected heat and energy stores can be triggered to turn up energy demand on the islands, mitigating curtailment by consuming energy locally. The network operator then allows the islands' solar generation to remain productive, making the most of the energy produced locally on the islands.

The Islands' system provides the flexibility that will allow dynamic changes and help balance local energy generation and consumption.

The solution uses machine-learning to predict demand and plan ahead effectively within household constraints.

Hitachi's smart platform monitors demand against generated energy over 24 hours.

By using the generated stored energy, the peak periods can be contained, reducing demand from the network.

  • Demand
  • Generation
  • Excess energy
  • Demand Modified With Flexibility
  • Balanced Energy


When tomorrow comes, the system REDIRECTS any excess energy being generated into local storage in HOT WATER systems and BATTERIES or EVs. Changing the time when hot water is created and when batteries are charged will help keep local renewables productive and not curtailed.

The World Wide Web is 30 years old in 2019 and over 4 billion people are connected to it using computers, smart phones and tablets.

Everyday things — like thermostats, lights, cars and TVs – are also being connected together and to the Internet.

These devices not only send usage data to the Internet but can also be controlled over the Internet using apps and web sites.

This is the Internet of Things (IoT) and is the same technology used to create the Isles of Scilly system.

IoT and Smart Energy Islands

We aim to deliver an islands-wide energy control system, built on an IoT platform to balance local energy generation, storage and use.

The platform will provide open interfaces to the connected energy assets to enhance dynamic changes in the energy system — further balancing local energy generation and consumption.

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Delivering the

A replicable, innovative solution:

The Smart Energy Islands platform delivers:

  1. A 'curtailment management' system to act on signals from the network operator, Western Power Distribution (WPD)
  2. Representation of flexibility in the Universal Smart Energy Framework (USEF) and development of algorithms to determine the best mix of demand-side response
  3. Optimisation of a wide variety of controllable home assets by a smart home hub
  4. An ICT platform that supports an innovative business model delivered by the community interest company, Isles of Scilly Community Venture.

With vehicle-to grid (V2G)

Electric cars & vans

can help the community make the most of greener energy.


An Electric Vehicle Energy Management System will use the batteries in electric vehicles to help balance the energy use on the island. Spare battery capacity can be fed back into the grid to meet demand when the vehicles are not in use.

This is in preparation for 'GO-EV', a project led by the Council of the Isles of Scilly.

GO-EV will introduce 25 charge points, ten solar canopies to charge vehicles, ten electric vehicles available to local people on all five islands, and at transport connections like St. Mary's Airport and St. Mary's Quay.

Supporting local businesses

Local businesses supported for improved energy efficiency

On the Isles of Scilly

In Cornwall

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An independent, not for profit organisation shares the benefits of the smart energy system with the community.
Tenants with rooftop PV pay for the electricity they use at a reduced rate. The Community Venture will use this revenue, and that from commercial sites, to cover its costs and share the benefits. The model is delivered in partnership with a licenced energy supplier.

Average self-consumption of rooftop






Between September 2018 and January 2019, nearly 40% of the solar energy generation was self-consumed in homes.

What about cost reduction for islanders?
  • The Isle of Scilly Community Venture supplies electricity to households on the local tariff
  • Locally-generated, this makes the tariff cheaper and greener
  • The tariff is only available on the Isles of Scilly
  • The licensed supplier partner ensures energy industry standards and regulations are followed, in particular for consumer protection.


Using Rooftop PV on the islands is typically 40% cheaper than grid electricity.

Key stakeholders for

Social Innovation

GOVERNMENT Increased pressure for sustainable economic growth. CORPORATIONS Looking at long-run corporate performance metrics. COMMUNITIES Users / patients / citizens: Ownership, engagement and interest. SOCIETY
Looking to the future:
Social Innovation aims to develop solutions addressing the most pressing problems facing communities in the UK and beyond, such as decarbonisation of the energy and transport systems.
New business models, products and services can make sense for corporations and benefit each global citizen to create a better future for all.

A Partnership

Hitachi, Moixa and PassivSystems have come together to innovate and advance system development for a low carbon future.

What does the

Uk government say?

"Many of our stakeholders have called on us to take a 'whole systems approach' to the decarbonisation of energy infrastructure systems. We agree with this principle, and will position the UK as a leader in clean and efficient power, transport and heat through an integrated approach to decarbonising these increasingly connected systems."

UK Industrial Strategy 2017
Building a Britain fit for the future
HM Government.


Isles of Scilly Smart Islands is one of only 12 case studies featured in the UK Government's Industrial Strategy published in Nov 2017.

This groundbreaking initiative aims to be replicable and scalable for other parts of the UK in both rural communities and cities alike.

The Smart Energy Islands project has built the foundations needed for the sustainable energy future for the islands.

The aim is to achieve 40% energy from renewables by 2025.

Smart, flexible energy

When the smart, flexible energy system enables generation without curtailment.

This project was made possible thanks to The Isles of Scilly's Smart Islands Partnership:

and delivery partners:

Smart Energy Islands is part funded by the European Union Regional Development Fund

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