The Isle of Wight, off the UK's south coast, could become self-sufficient in renewable energy over the next decade thanks to an ambitious new project.
The £300 million effort, which is being coordinated by Ecoislands - a not-for-profit partnership of local environmentalists, was discussed at a summit last week on the island with partners including IBM, Cable&Wireless, SSE and IT services company IPL.
IPL will underpin the project by providing a smart grid software platform that allows renewable energy generators to connect with the distribution network and energy storage systems.
The project will create a 'virtual' power plant to integrate local renewable energy sources with demand side resources to create an energy balancing system.
"The infrastructure we are developing on the Isle of Wight is designed to maximise security of supply and revenue for our community," explains Ecoislands founder and chief executive, David Green.
"Ecoislands aims to be right at the forefront of the revolution in demand side management and energy balancing."
The initiative hopes to turn the islands 130,000 residents, which are among some of the UK's heaviest energy users, into a 'smart' community using less energy, paying lower bills and ultimately generating their own renewable energy.
The Isle of Wight is also participating in a Technology Strategy Board-backed project let by ITM Power to design, build, install and operate two grid-connected hydrogen refuelling platforms to supply hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.