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Scottish Island Stays off Grid - replaces diesels with 95% Green resources. Answered

The Scottish island of Eigg (pronounced "Egg") has never had mains electricity, and has had to rely in expensive diesel generators for the power they do use.

Devices that require 24/7 supplies, such as fridges, have been an unknown luxury.

Today, though, that all changes:

A renewable energy supply giving the Isle of Eigg power 24-hours-a-day has come online for the first time.

The £1.6m system for the island in the Small Isles between Skye and the Ardnamurchan peninsula uses a mix of hydro, wind and solar power.

It has been designed to generate more than 95% of Eigg's annual energy demand and is backed up by a battery storage system and two diesel generators.

Residents have previously relied on diesel generators and hydro schemes.

The dream of green power has taken 10 years to realise.

A total of 45 households, 20 businesses and six community buildings on the island are linked together by six miles of buried cable that forms a high voltage network.

The whole project was organised by the community themselves - at the switch-on ceremony (in the local tea shop), the island's children gathered round a candle-lit map of the island and blew the candles out as the power came on.

Before the switch-on:

  • homes were powered by diesel, wind or hydro-generators
  • electricity was unreliable and restricted to certain hours
  • some residents went without washing machines and vacuum cleaners
  • the noise from the generators could be heard for miles
  • Diesel was delivered by boat but services sometimes cancelled

BBC News story
BBC Magazine article, with comments.


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13 years ago

now why cant the whole world just do that? lol. we should get rid of every single need for oil, replacing em with electricity. it will never happen though lol.


13 years ago

Bump - This dropped down the list real quick when I posted it.