Photovoltaic (PV) panels are already installed on the Isle of Eigg, with a total capacity of 53.4kW. They complement the other renewable sources, particularly hydro, by providing a large portion of the total electricity output in summer. More detail on the available solar resource on Eigg and the panels themselves can be read here.
Heating is predominantly required in winter to combat the colder temperatures. Without sufficient long term storage, PV power is perhaps then rather unsuitable for supplying the necessary electricity for heat pumps in efforts to electrify heating on the island.
Nonetheless, it is worth analysing increasing PV via simulation in HOMER. To do this, it is useful to first simulate using the scenario with the lowest load ie. upgraded buildings with GSHPs and then work upwards if PV power proves successful. The table to the right shows how PV capacity was increased incrementally. Hydro and wind capacities were left as they are and so are not exclusively displayed in the table.
The first row is that of the present day microgrid (read about the current configuration here) which has, on average, a renewable penetration of 90% and has consequently been reduced to only 46% upon the introduction of GSHPs. The last row corresponds to a huge increase in batteries as well as converters to see what overall affect this would have. The costs for PV panels, batteries and converters can be viewed in the cost analysis section.
The renewable penetration increases rather steeply with increasing PV capacity initially but then a great increase to 400kW only results in a small increase. This indicates that the renewable penetration must reach capacity somewhere around these values.
The renewable penetration increases relatively steeply with increasing PV capacity initially, but then a great increase to 400kW only results in a small increase. This indicates that the renewable penetration must reach capacity somewhere around these values.