Following the visits to Bornholm and Madeira lighthouse, INSULAE partners met from 31st May to 2nd June 2023 in Mali Lošinj the most populated settlement of the Kvarner archipelago, 15 miles southeast of Unije, the Croatian INSULAE lighthouse.

The first day began with a welcome from the Mayor of Mali Lošinj, Ana Kučić. Then, the work package leaders presented their progress of the past 4 months and elaborated on a plan for the last months of the project. In parallel with the presentations, RINA was hosting one-to-one sessions with each partner to discuss the finalization of their exploitation plans.

In the third part of the first day, Martina Mikulić, representative of HEP, the state-owned utility of Croatia provided an overview of the existing RES infrastructure in the islands of Kvarner archipelago and Dalmatia Sea and the plans for a solar PV plant coupled with a battery system in Unije. Additionally, Ugo Toić from Cres – Lošinj Island Development Agency and energy cooperative, Apsyrtides presented their plan for self-managing the energy on Cres – Lošinj archipelago.

The first day was concluded with a presentation of the projects results with local stakeholders in order to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and best practices and create fruitful interactions among different stakeholders.

On the second day, the INSULAE partners travelled to Unije, to visit the desalination unit, which is managed by partner VIOCL, the local water management company. The desalination unit has an installed capacity of 7 Kw of rooftop solar panels and a battery system of 10kWh. The unit working at 15 bars processes brackish water from a well in order to provide technical water to the citizens of Unije. The visit also explained the different measurement and IoT infrastructure installed in Unije, and the site of the future PV. Next stop of this trip was Susak island where a visit to another desalination unit using sea water at much higher pressures 50 bar took place. The visits gave a good overview of the unique challenges of providing decarbonized energy and other infrastructure in these isolated islands with high seasonality of demand.

On the last day of this meeting some cross-cutting technical discussions on KPIs and replication were followed by dissemination discussions. The lighthouse partners exchanged their ideas about the organization of the final events where the outputs of the projects will be demonstrated to local stakeholders and citizens. Moreover, all the partners discussed ideas for the final event of INSULAE where the project results will be presented to the public.

The INSULAE project coordinator Leon Nielsen (CIRCE) and the other partners want to thank our Croatian lighthouse partners (University of Zagreb – FSB, VIOCL, REA Kvarner, Ericsson Nikola Tesla and WWF Adria) for hosting and supporting the organization of these project meetings and visits.