With the new Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid are, from left, Roy and Barbara Butler, from Wight Motors, Isle of Wight MP Andrew Turner, Ecoisland CEO David Green, national developement director for SSE Charles Farley and CEO of SSE Ian Marchant.
THREE important green initiatives were launched by Ecoisland last week, as part of the drive to make the Isle of Wight the first sustainable region in the country.
Ecoisland announced a national partnership with Toyota GB in a shared commitment to alternative, low-carbon transport.
To launch the partnership, Toyota and Island dealer Wight Motors delivered a new Prius Plug-In Hybrid.
With the ability to run 15.5 miles in electric-only mode, the Prius Plug-in offers CO2 emissions of 49g/km and an official government combined cycle fuel economy of 134.5mpg.
The transition to alternative fuel vehicles is a vital component of Ecoisland’s plans to decarbonise the Island and a transition to renewable energy self-sufficiency by 2020.
Ten electric vehicle-charging points are already being rolled out across the Island in partnership with Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) and Chargemaster.
The Island is also set to become a testbed for hydrogen fuel, as part of a £4.66 million Technology Strategy Board project, led by the energy storage and clean fuel company ITM Power, which will build a hydrogen energy production, storage and vehicle refuelling system that will be integrated into the power system on the Island.
The Ecoisland Community Energy Scheme, an initiative that will enable Islanders to reduce energy costs and invest in sustainable community projects, was launched on the same day.
As part of SSE’s involvement as Eco-island’s national energy partner, every SSE customer on the Island who joins the Ecoisland’s Community Energy scheme, SSE will donate £1 per account per month, which customers can choose to take as a reduction on their energy bill or donate to the Ecoisland project.
Launching the scheme SSE’s chief executive, Ian Marchant, said: "SSE is extremely proud to be Ecoisland national energy partner and to be part of such an innovative, community-driven project."
Ecoisland announced an opportunity for Islanders to benefit from unused land as they introduce Growing Spaces in conjunction with Southern Housing Group.
Southern Housing has identified parcels of its land that are currently unproductive and would be ideal locations for the initiative.
Ecoisland plans to take over management of the plots and encourage Island people to join a sustainable growing programme, like allotments, gaining skills and building community links.
The first plot, at Lake, was officially handed over this week.
• People can find out more about the opportunities available, or register interest to become a volunteer, by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling the Ecoisland hub on 01983 822385.