From England’s beautiful south coast, here’s something to get excited about: the Isle of Wight is endeavoring to become the largest single sustainability project in the UK.
The island, located just a couple of miles off of the main coast of England, will become a showcase for renewable energy and sustainability practices in all areas of modern living.
The “Eco Island” project exemplifies UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s ‘Big Society’ plan, a concept loosely described as communities and private businesses working together to become self-sufficient.
David Green, Chief Executive of the Eco Island CIC, said, “We are looking to use the island’s natural resources to make it self-sufficient in terms of energy, food, water, fuel, and water–enabling the community to take its destiny back into its own hands.”
Already underway on the Eco Island are solar, tidal, geothermal and wind power solutions. A £25 million solar project will bring photovoltaic-generated electricity to 3,500 homes, along with 500 air-source heat pumps. Another effort will eliminate landfill waste as well as the need to transport waste off the island for disposal.
The Eco Island initiative is bringing something else greatly needed to the region: jobs in green tech investment and at an “Eco Centre” where residents, tourists, and school groups will visit to learn about the technology and sustainability practices at work in the area.
Over 70 partners will be involved in delivering “key infrastructure objectives” online, including: wireless mesh and communications infrastructure, grid connection facilitation, energy storage and clean fuel production (hydrogen).
For complete information on the Isle of Wight’s Sustainable Community Strategy, click here.