All four demonstration sites have in common being remote communities with a weak connection to the national electricity grid. Two of these pilot sites are isolated communities, and two are located in geographical islands. In all cases, maintaining stable minimum conditions represents a challenge, so each of them has committed to promote the creation of a REC to overcome this barrier. Through the constitution of a REC in these communities, both technical and non-technical benefits are foreseen. Thus, it is expected that energy resources will be managed jointly and in an integrated manner making local grids more resilient and increasing flexibility, but also, the volunteer participation of both private users and the municipality will strengthen the community and promote the creation of other social initiatives and new jobs.
Kökar is a small archipelago municipality of Åland Islands with a total land area of 64 km². The population of Kökar island is officially 234 persons (2018), but the actual number of inhabitants ranges from 160-170 in wintertime to 1,000 in summertime. This island municipality is visited by around 18,000 tourists along the year, which results in high volatility and puts extra demand on the flexibility of the infrastructure.
Kökar takes part in the CE4EUI (Clean Energy For EU Islands) and published its clean energy transition agenda in summer 2020. Furthermore, Kökar has been selected as one of 20 islands in Europe that will act as pioneers in the work of reducing CO2 emissions.
Berchidda is a 3000 inhabitants village located on the southern slopes of Mount Limbara, in the north of Sardinia Island. The land covers approx. 201 km2 and it is located at an average altitude of 300 m, with a wide hilly area in a radius of almost 20km. The anthropic structures, vegetation and climatic conditions are typical for the inland areas of Sardinia, with average temperatures of 15°C.
Ispaster is a small village located in the coast of Bizkaia, in the north of Spain. With a municipal area of 22 km², Ispaster has a population of 740 inhabitants, of which 350 are concentrated in the main neighborhood of Eleixalde.
Ollersdorf is located in the South-East of Austria and has a population of about 1,000 inhabitants. 200 of them are already part of several activities to further increase the integration of Renewable Energy Sources. The area is mostly agricultural in terms of economic activity, with no industries settled there.