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Tilos, first eco-green Island of the Mediterranean

The EU Sustainable Energy Award and Citizens’ Award have been granted to the remote Greek island of Tilos in the Dodecanese for the TILOS project that will render the island energy efficient.

This pioneer project for both Greece and the EU, has reached its final stage of implementation, which uses wind and solar energy, assuring the needs of the approximately 850 residents and thousands of tourists that visit each year. The microgrid combines a wind turbine (800kW), photovoltaic panels (200kW) and renewable energy-based battery station, with a storage capacity of 2.4MWh. Meanwhile, “smart-meters” are put in place on the island’s buildings controlling the total consumption and power tension. When the project reaches its full potential, Tilos will be able to export electricity for 5 hours per day to the neighbouring island of Kos. Furthermore, the local community aims in installing solar street lights, electric vehicle charging stations as well as introducing electric bicycles and motorcycles to the Municipality’s staff.

The TILOS project is coordinated by the Laboratory of Soft Energy Applications and Environmental Protection of the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the Piraeus University of Applied Sciences (T.E.I. of Piraeus) along with the contribution of 15 partners from seven European countries and the local municipality.

The whole island of Tilos (63km2) has been acknowledged as a  Protected Area NATURA 2000. It consists of 63km coastline, hills and plains, where more than 400 types of flowers and herbs grow, 150 species indigenous or migratory birds find refuge and a network of underground sources feeding its five wetlands. Moreover, this is where the last dwarf elephants of Europe lived; they appeared 45.000 years ago and disappeared 4.000 years ago. Therefore, the island of Tilos is constantly expanding the number of visitors who are interested in ecotourism as it also offers hiking, birdwatching, sea activities and more.

The mayor of the island Maria Kamma-Aliferi told the Athens News Agency - Macedonian Press Agency (ANA-MPA) that the completion of the project is expected by the beginning of 2019, which will make Tilos the first energy self-sufficient island of the Mediterranean, non-dependent to “black gold” and will therefore be referred to as the first “eco-green island”.

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