Tilos: the first energy autonomous island in the Mediterranean

In the summer of 2017, the island of Tilos became known through two awards it won at the EU Sustainable Energy Awards. The island won the first prize in the category for the Green Islands but also in the category for the audience award for the TILOS project.

Launched in 2015, TILOS aims at the energy autonomy of the remote island, in a project involving thirteen partners from seven European countries. The project is led by the Laboratory of Mild Energy and Environmental Protection of the University of Piraeus, while also participating HEDNO, WWF-Hellas and private sector entities active in the field of renewable energy sources.

The implementation of the project includes the installation of hybrid Renewable Energy Resources system, combining a wind turbine with photovoltaic park and the storage of electricity in advanced technology batteries. The initial goal of the program was to meet the needs of the island by at least 60-70% and later by 100% with the possibility of exporting the energy surplus to the island of Kos, through a submarine power cord.

Upon completion of the project, this power generation system will cover the needs of the island, both for the 400 permanent residents, as well as for 13,000 visitors each year. At the same time, the European Commission intends to use the project as a guide for similar projects on other small islands in the European Union, in a move that will change what we knew about electrifying island areas. This is also the reason why the European Union has largely funded the project, providing A$7mn out of the total A$9mn of the budget.

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