AURORA organised a visit to Samsø Energy Academy


All over Denmark, Samsø is known for its potatoes. But it is more than that.

On 3 May 2024, AURORA organised a visit to Samsø Energy Academy, one of the main players driving the community energy projects on Samsø — Denmark’s Renewable Energy Island. A group of students and staff from the Department of Mechanical and Production Engineering at Aarhus University joined this visit. 

Samsø’s transition started in 1997 when it won a competition by the Danish government to create a model community for renewable energy through the use of approved technology, broad popular support, and existing legislation. Today, with 11 onshore wind turbines and 10 offshore, and supplemented by biogas and solar facilities, Samsø is completely self-sufficient in electricity. It even sells excess electricity to the national grid through a power cable to the mainland, generating income to the hundreds of residents who own shares in the wind turbines.

The visit started with a tour to EA’s own low energy house, which is their main office and sometimes used to host events for the local community. Here, Michael Kristensen introduced the work of the energy academy and shared stories of community energy projects on the island. 

Afterwards, the group visited demonstration of the SMILE project at the Ballen harbour, where an integrated energy system comprising of renewable generation (photovoltaics and wind) and battery storage is implemented to meet the daily and seasonal fluctuating demand of charging for electrical vehicles and yachts. The visit continued with a tour to the district heating plant which is owned by the local residents, and ended with at the municipality’s car park with solar panels on the rooftop, which is used to charge the municipality’s fleet of electrical vehicles. 


Participants of the visit were impressed by the projects on Samsø and had interesting discussions. “I have been looking forward to this trip for a long time, because there are a lot to learn from the projects here, and indeed we have gained valuable insights from this visit to help us further develop our solar community in Aarhus.” says Marta Victoria, who is leading the AURORA projects and a board member of Universitetets Energifællesskab F.M.B.A. 

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