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The island of Berlenga is a protected environmental area classified as a UNESCO nature reserve. The electricity supply to the island of Berlenga, isolated from the mainland Portugal power grid, was done by 3 diesel generators, with alternate operation. For its operation, about 15,000 litres of fuel were transported to the island annually by boat. EDP Distribuição is responsible for the transport of the fuel and the operation of the generators, as well as the existing low voltage distribution network.

This supply scheme involved a high environmental risk (associated with the maritime transport of the fuel to the island), air pollution (estimated annual emissions of around 40 tons of CO2) and noise.

The Sustainable Berlenga project, a partnership between EDP Distribuição and CM Peniche, aimed at providing an alternative supply of sustainable and viable electricity to be maintained in the long-term, replacing diesel production with renewable energy sources. The system consists of a photovoltaic production unit, a storage system, an emergency diesel generator and monitoring/control of the distribution network currently in place.

In April 2020, the installation of the system was completed:

  • <70 kWp of photovoltaic generation;
  • 150 kWh of batteries;
  • 1 emergency generator;
  • Inverters, control system and monitoring by remote means.

Since its start-up, the system has provided Berlenga with a higher quality of service in a totally sustainable way, with the emergency generator producing less than 2 per cent of the island's overall consumption.