Mull community energy project aims to connect off-grid consumers to renewable energy

An innovative energy project that will explore the possibility of developing a system for supplying electricity from renewable sources straight to local consumers in rural areas is planned for the Isle of Mull.

Project ACCESS (Assisting Communities to Connect to Electrical Sustainable Sources) will enable the real-time matching of local renewable electricity generation to local electricity demand in off-gas-grid properties.

Part funded through the Scottish Government’s Local Energy Challenge Fund and valued at just over £2 million, Project ACCESS aims to drive the development of financially viable grid connections for small scale generators in transmission constrained areas of the Scottish networks.

The project will be delivered by a consortium comprising SSE, Community Energy Scotland, Element Energy, VCharge, and Mull and Iona Community Trust. It is one of six projects being trialled by the Local Energy Challenge Fund throughout Scotland.

Project ACCESS is looking to recruit up to 100 householders and two small businesses to participate in the field trial on the Isle of Mull.

Felix Wight, Head of Development at Community Energy Scotland, said : “There is a huge appetite amongst Scottish communities to generate their own clean energy, and supply it to local homes and businesses. We are very hopeful that ACCESS will give communities the tools to open that door to a more sustainable and resilient energy future.”

Jim McPhillimy, Managing Director, SSE Enterprise, said: “We have a history at SSE of looking for ways to deliver affordable, sustainable solutions for our customers. Although Project ACCESS is just a trial at this stage we’re hopeful it will grow into something which will secure supply for rural communities in the longer term.

“If successful, this innovative project could lead to a rethinking of how energy is delivered in rural communities throughout Scotland. We’re hoping this concept will soon be available to all communities in grid constrained areas.”


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