The goal of Smart Senja is to create long-term solutions, not only to prevent power outages, but to secure the supply of energy for future development. We want to show how ‘smart’ and ‘green’ solutions can maintain rural societies, with as little strain on nature and climate as possible.
Every process of restructuring that today is framed as ‘the green transition’ will need innovative technical solutions as their basis for success. But technical solutions are still only half the puzzle. Energy solutions exist to assist us in our daily needs and and tasks. Thereby, they cannot be separated from the cultural and historical context that they are a part of. Our needs affect the solutions, and the solutions again affect our needs. Throughout history, creative innovations and technical revolutions have drastically transformed our societal structure and way of life. Which gives reason to assume that a transformation to a greener future will be as much a social- as a technical process. And in its wake follows social and societal possibilities and challenges. By understanding this two-way relation between society and technology, we become better equipped to shape the future of our society from the right premises.
Smart Senja works together with the fishing communities Husøy and Senjahopen towards realising such a transformation. In the first phase of the project, we are working closely with the local communities, schools and corner stone businesses, so that they can take part in forming the solutions they themselves will be using. The Energy Café´s has been a very successful arena for this. We have discussed and shaped many different stages and solutions within the Smart Senja project in this warm and trusting atmosphere.
Smart Senja is working together with the fishing communities Husøy and Senjahopen. As many other coastal municipalities by the open sea, Husøy and Senjahopen is at the end of the electrical grid. This is why our efforts are focused on these two communities. But simultaneously we have a wish that all of Senja will benefit from the project. In 2019 the Arctic University of Tromsø (UiT) and the power company Troms Kraft arranged an “Energy forum” together with the municipality, as part of the pre-project. We wish to establish this as an annual event, as an arena where the municipality, industry, schools and civil society can meet.Energiforum sammen ned med kommunen som en del av forprosjektet. Dette ønsker vi å etablere som en årlig arena med kommune, næringsliv, videregående skoler og sivilsamfunnet.
Senja Kommune ble etablert 1 januar 2020 og har 15 000 innbyggere og ønsker samarbeid for innovasjon innen klima-og energi. Vi ønsker også å bidra til Visit Senja sitt bærekraftarbeid i sin besøksforvaltningsstrategi og vil videreføre samarbeid fra forprosjektet om hvordan et fokus på energi kan bidra til et bærekraftig reiseliv. Turismen i Senja er økende og lokalt snakker man om at øye er «det nye Lofoten», som viser at det antas at turismen vil øke betraktelig i årene som kommer. Fiskeri og havbruk er også en viktig samarbeidspartner, hvor vi blant annet jevnlig diskuterer energiforsyning og nye løsninger med enkeltaktører og Sjømatklyngen Senja.
Husøy og Senjahopen
Both Husøy and senjahopen have about 300 inhabitants. They are close to their fishing fields, and share that their communities have a strong sense of fellowship and community spirit. Theiy have always been sustained by what the ocean can give. In recent times, the fishery related businesses grown to such a scale that they are providing many full time jobs, and provide income that benefit the societies.
The cornerstone businesses ‘Brødrene Karlsen AS’ (the Karlsen Brothers) at Husøy and Nergård AS at Senjahopen are dependent on a secure supply of power. They are amongst the biggest consumers of electricity, and are pilot customers in this project, amongst other things as prosuments and for smart power management.
Today, the society of Husøya is characterised by both growth and inflow of new inhabitants, and the brothers Karlsen as employing about one third of the islands population, with workers from 18 different nationalities. They have a significant production of fish from the sea and (ecological) salmon from several locations on Senja. Today, Senjahopen is home to the biggest fishery port in Mid-Troms. The business Nergård AS in Senujahopen is currently producing/working with/processing white and pelagic fish as well as crustaceans. They are one of the biggest companies within fishery in North-Norway.