Circular, renewable, innovative, and sustainable: these words describe the Casa dell’Energia (House of Energy) project developed by the Municipality of Serrenti, a town in the province of Medio Campidano in Sardinia. Serrenti received the accolade from Enel as part of the Enterprise Prizes of the Cresco Award - Sustainable Cities 2018 promoted by the Sodalitas Foundation.
In fact, our company was asked to choose the winner in the category “The value of partnership for the development of a circular model.” The award ceremony was held on 24 October in Rimini, on the occasion of the Assembly of ANCI (National Association of Italian Municipalities).
Enel chose the Municipality of Serrenti’s project for its highly innovative content, its use of renewable and digital technologies and its approach based on the circular economy. The initiative is in line with the UN 2030 Agenda's Sustainable Development Goals and in particular with SDGs #7 and #9 concerning the access to sustainable and efficient energy and to industrial and production innovation, respectively.
The philosophy behind the Casa dell’Energia project is to optimise and increase self-consumption and self-supply through better management of the generated energy, taking into account the different levels of demand during the hours of the day and the changes in consumption at different times of the year.
In detail, the project involved the complex of the middle school and the Municipal Theatre with the creation of a smart grid and an experimental micro-grid through the adaptation of the existing solar power system that was integrated with a new energy storage system and an Energy Management System (EMS) to manage electricity flows. To house the storage system, a special structure, the Casa dell’Energia, from which the project took its name, was created.
All these measures will enable the Serrenti municipal administration to reach a level of self-consumption of at least 86% of the energy produced and a level of self-supply of about 51.4% of the electricity consumed, reducing the municipal energy bill as well as CO2 emissions.
It is a model that can be replicated in any public and/or private setting either for a single building or for an energy micro-grid including several municipal buildings and with other realities with which to share green energy and digitise services.
In addition to its impressive innovation and sustainability credentials, the project was selected because it represents a perfect circular model: it was implemented with the direct involvement of the community of Serrenti. The students of the school were kept up-to-date constantly about the progress of the activities and the institutional communication kindled the interest and curiosity of institutions and the local community. Among these, a professional training organisation promoted, as part of the integrated Green & Blue Economy activities, a course to earn the qualification of “Micro and smart grid technician” taking advantage of the technologies installed at the Casa dell’Energia for the practical part of the course.
The prize awarded by Enel will allow the Municipality of Serrenti to benefit from a “Circular Economy Energy Assessment”: a quantitative tool for assessing the level of application of the principles of the circular economy to the energy sources and consumption of one of the municipal buildings. In addition, an innovative energy efficiency project will be developed and implemented jointly on a structure or area for which the Municipality is responsible.