Greek Island to Become Energy Independent

The Greek island of Tilos is expected to launch a wind turbine this year that, combined with a solar park, will make Tilos the first island in the Mediterranean to completely source its electricity from wind and solar. The European Commission says Tilos could serve as a model for other islands. TILOS, Greece (AP) — When the blades of its 800-kilowatt wind turbine start turning, the small Greek island of Tilos will become the first in the Mediterranean to run exclusively on wind and solar power.

The sea horse-shaped Greek island between Rhodes and Kos has a winter population of 400. But that swells to as many as 3,000 people in the summer, putting an impossible strain on its dilapidated power supply. This summer, technicians are conducting the final tests on a renewable replacement system that will be fully rolled out later this year. It will allow Tilos to run exclusively on high-tech batteries recharged by a wind turbine and a solar park.

The European Commission says Tilos will be the first autonomous renewable green island in the Mediterranean. It plans to use the project as a blueprint for other small islands across the European Union that have limited grid connection to the mainland. The EU has largely funded the project, providing 11 million euros ($12.5 million) of the total 13.7 million-euro ($15.7 million) cost.

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