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Smart Island pano shot of the islands

Smart Islands

With support from the European Regional Development Fund, Smart Energy Islands uses technology, including Hitachi’s Internet of Things platform and AI, to reduce the carbon footprint of the Isles of Scilly whilst optimising locally produced, renewable energy.

The Isles of Scilly

Unique and remote, the Isles of Scilly lie 28 miles off Land’s End, in the far south west of the UK and are one of the most protected landscapes and environments in England.

Five inhabited islands support a permanent population of just over 2,200 but Scilly attracts over 100,000 visitors each year and the islands are carbon-intensive, due to their dependence on electricity and imported fossil fuels such as heating oil.

However, the Isles of Scilly have bold energy goals for their future

Smart Island town image on a sunny day.


In 2015, a partnership was established to:

• produce 40% renewable energy

• reduce electricity bills by 40%

• introduce 40% low carbon vehicles
all by 2025

Smart Island partnership infographic


It brought Hitachi together with the Council of the Isles of Scillythe Duchy of CornwallTresco and the Islands' Partnership – collaborating to help residents and businesses move to a lower carbon economy.

Technology partners in Smart Energy Islands were the UK’s leading smart battery company, facilitating smart energy storage and sharing, Moixa and intelligent home energy management systems provider, PassivSystems.

Internet of Things and AI – delivering flexibility to the grid

Smart Islands delivered an Internet of Things platform for the Isles of Scilly that managed solar PV generation, electric vehicles, home batteries, smart heating technologies and hot water cylinders to optimise local energy use.

The IoT platform prioritised households’ heating and hot water comfort choices, only spare capacity was used to manage flexibility within the energy network.

Launch Animation Open in new tab
A team working together on paper

Social Innovation – co-creating with the islands' communities

An innovative partnership of technology companies, NGOs, the public sector and funding stakeholders collaborated in the project on the Isles of Scilly.

A community interest company was established to share the project's benefits through a local, community energy tariff to support lower energy bills.

The project has transferred ownership of the low carbon technologies that it used in the project to support the Isles of Scilly's sustainability goals.

Drone view of the coast and sky

Locally produced low carbon energy

The Council of the Isles of Scilly updated 82 of its social homes with a combination of energy efficiency, generation and storage systems including solar PV panels, home energy management systems, water and space heating controls, and home batteries. Five other Council buildings were fitted with rooftop solar panels and a solar garden was constructed at St. Mary's Airport.

We were able to increase the use of the newly installed renewable energy in the islands' network using the Internet of Things platform.

In total, 396 kW of solar panels were installed and an additional total of 460kW of clean energy is now available.

Electric Van Parked on the coast

Supporting the energy transition with the internet of things – project report

The management summary and final report can be downloaded from the links below. The technical appendices provide further details on the IoT platform and aggregator system performance.

With thanks to the residents of the Isles of Scilly and the following organisations for making this project possible: Council of the Isles of Scilly, Duchy of Cornwall, Islands' Partnership, Tresco Estate, PassivSystems, Moixa, Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government, the European Union, Hitachi Limited, Western Power Distribution and the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise.

Final Report
Executive summary

Useful Links

Follow these links to find out more about the project

opens in a new tab Interview with programme lead