“Kythnos Smart Island” project

Project duration: 2019 – 2021
Budget: 7.980.000,00€
Role: Lead Partner
The project is funded by Siemens in the framework of the Settlement Agreement between the Hellenic Republic and Siemens

The story behind

Kythnos has a rich history in the adoption of sustainable energy applications, starting from the installation of the first wind park in Europe in 1982, followed by a series of RES and storage installations subsequently resulting in 2000 to a fully automated intelligent power system largely powered by the local wind and solar potential. In addition, one of the first microgrids was developed in 2001 in Gaidouromandra, a rural off-grid area on the south adding, providing invaluable knowledge to the scientific community and industry on the operation of such systems. After a decade of limited system upgrades, largely due to the instability caused by a long transition to the unbundling of the electricity market, 2015 sees the gradual rebirth of Kythnos as a sustainability living lab in the frame of the WiseGRID project and the eventual launch of the “Kythnos Smart Island” large scale project in 2019.

The project in a nutshell

Thanks to “Kythnos Smart Island” project the island becomes again a living lab, not only for clean energy, smart grids and energy efficiency, but also for the coupling of energy with water, waste and mobility management solutions. while in parallel smartening existing port facilities and delivering extensive urban regenerations of public spaces and retrofitting and reuse of the municipal building stock and buildings of cultural heritage.

The project demonstrates the potential of islands to deliver integrated interventions for the local infrastructure that, while contributing to climate change mitigation and adaptation, will enable, by extending its tourism season and strengthening the interdependencies and symbiosis among economic activities, the transition to a diverse, circular and sustainable economy. For doing so the project foresees the active involvement and engagement of the local community and entrepreneurship which will be a catalyst for its successful implementation but also for the sustainability of its impact.   Eventually, “Kythnos Smart Island” constitutes a local development vision and strategy for the local municipality bridging the integrated, smart and efficient infrastructure management with local economic development all while creating a unique identity as green destination.

“Kythnos Smart Island” is not just a vision, but also a tool to inspire more communities. The knowledge produced will be transferred to other islands and geographically remote and rural areas, offering valuable insights to the rise of the future smart and sustainable destination. Furthermore, the project is set to have a significant socioeconomic impact, offering solutions to long- lasting challenges related to infrastructure management and local needs.

The interventions

Energy & Smart Grids: Acceleration of the clean energy transition through multiple applications, such as demand side management, integration of storage in the distribution network, research on a local microgrid and extensive sector coupling.

Street lighting: Energy upgrade and smartening of the island’s street lighting network, while improving visual comfort and minimizing lighting pollution.

Water management: Demonstrate the integrated water resource management at island scale, while reducing the water production cost and water losses at the distribution system.

Waste management: Demonstrate the potential to transform an island into a zero-waste area, while maximizing valorization of waste and minimizing environmental impact.

Transport & Mobility: Decarbonize the island’s transport sector through the uptake of electromobility on land and sea transportation.

Building & public space retrofitting: Energy upgrade of municipal buildings into Nearly Zero Energy Buildings and sustainable regeneration of public space.