Foula Electricity Trust Phase 3 Upgrade

Project Lead: Foula Electricity Trust

Partners: N/A

Award Amount: £93,392

Status: Complete (October 2015)

Area: Foula (Shetland Islands)

Foula is not connected to the Shetland distribution grid. As a result, The Foula Electricity Trust (FET) is a charity that owns and manages an isolated electricity energy grid to supply to all Foula properties. This infrastructure utilises renewable generation sources including solar, hydro and wind, with the provision of a diesel generator as backup. Newly installed twenty-four hour electricity provision on the island has caused an increased in demand that the current infrastructure cannot provide for merely through renewables, without an upgrade. Without this form of improvement, FET would have to increase consumer costs to offset increased running costs – this is despite islanders already having to pay 50% more for their electricity supply than an average UK consumer. To avoid this scenario and a potential adverse depopulation of the island as a consequence of such, FET commissioned a feasibility study that determined an upgrade to the system to increase supply would require: a) an increase in diesel generation capacity (not part of the IIF grant application); and b) an improvement in the efficiency and storage capacity of the existing Foula electricity infrastructure. Some of the originally anticipated outcomes of these developments included: an efficiency rate of 40% from hydro schemes already in place; and increased renewable energy generation capacity enabled through longer battery life and storage.

Supporting Documents / Output Report(s)

No reports pending – grant funding was used to purchase and install equipment only.