Renault drives green power on Portuguese island


Renault has partnered with local electricity provider EEM to turn Porto Santo into a ‘smart fossil free island’ using EVs, battery storage, and renewable energy.

A new project was launched last week between the French carmaker and the island’s local electricity supplier, Empresa de Electricitade da Madeira (EEM).

They will collaborate over the next year and a half to transform the island off the coast of Portugal into a pioneer in green electricity technologies.

The Smart Fossil Free Island project will see Porto Santo increase renewable generation capacity coupled with energy storage solutions to decrease dependence on fossil fuels.

Renault plans to combine electric cars with renewable energy and smart grid technologies to revolutionise Porto Santo’s grid, moving the island closer to the project’s sustainability goals.

A fleet of electric ZOE and Kangoo cars will be supplied by Renault, together with smart charging points, allowing residents to charge their batteries when renewable power is abundant.

Excess energy will eventually be fed back onto the grid during peak times (vehicle-to-grid technology), or stored in stationary battery banks made of old EV batteries.

“We are delighted to be teaming up with EEM to establish this unprecedented smart electric ecosystem which demonstrates to what extent the electric revolution is changing our everyday lives beyond just transport,” said Eric Feunteun, electric vehicles and new business programme director at Renault.

Feunteun further states: “Our aim is to build a model that can be carried over to other islands, eco-districts and cities, while consistently striving to achieve large-scale rollout of electric mobility solutions that are affordable for all.”

The Renault-led project includes a number of organisations including Bouygues Energies et Services, The Mobility House, and ABB.

Porto Santo spans just 42 square kilometres and is home to around 5,500 people. The island has historically relied on diesel generation but plans to become 100% renewable within the next two decades.

Image credit: CGTrader