When you live on a island , especially a remote island like Anguilla, in the Caribbean you need to have a reliable source of both water and electricity. Modern solar energy technology is perfectly suited for these remote applications.
Anguilla, recently joined the Carbon War Room Ten Island Challenge to reduce the Caribbean carbon footprint impact. To support this effort on of the resorts on the island has installed a fairly large solar power plant with energy storage that not only provides a source of reliable energy but also clean drinkable water.
The CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa in Anguilla, on the island of BWI has recenlty completed and installation of a 1.0-megawatt (MW) solar power generation plant. This provides an uninterruptible supply of energy to the Resort’s Reverse Osmosis (RO) plant throughout the day to create potable water to the residents on the island, guests of the resort and irrigation water for the golf course.
The project has been designed to remain completely separate from the grid when needed, yet has the ability of reconnecting partial loads, to continue to desalinate water outside solar production hours. When the sun is down, the system depends on the local Utility, Anguilla Electricity Company Ltd. (Anglec).
“The payback on this project will immediately save CuisinArt hundreds of thousands of dollars,” said Inovateus Solar Project Manager,Peter Rienks.
Even more important, it provides a solution to the global water crisis. This system could be duplicated on any island in any country around the world.
Fresh water scarcity is an issue particularly on Caribbean islands. Utilizing solar power to convert salt water to potable water for human consumption and agriculture is an important concept that must be promoted worldwide, according to Rienks.
“We know that this initiative is viable and secure,” said Rory Purcell, the resort’s chief engineer.
It is a proven strategy to penetrate the national demand with renewable energy far in excess of the usual grid tied limits. PV is a low environmental impact source, designed to withstand Category five hurricanes, low flying objects and even poorly directed golf balls. It has a low maintenance requirement with a life expectancy in excess of 25 years. This technology is available to all who are interested and can transform the economies and quality of life for so many similar societies.
The reduced energy cost represents significant savings for the resort and stands as a prime example for other Caribbean islands and resorts in the region and across the world.
Located adjacent to the resort’s reverse osmosis plant, the solar array supports the plant’s daily capacity of 1.25 million gallons of fresh water. The water supply services the 130-key CuisinArt Resort featuring an 18-hole Greg Norman Signature Golf Course, the new 80-key Reef Hotel, an award-winning spa and six full-service restaurants.
GE was involved from the inception and proved to be a great partner.
“GE is happy to be part of the CuisinArt Resort solar project,” commented Peter Foss, GE.
CuisinArt and Conair have set a sustainable precedent for photovoltaic water purification throughout the world. With GE’s wide variety of products available we were able to find the best solution to fit their needs. We congratulate CuisinArt on being forward thinkers and pushing the envelope. Not only will the project have a great return on the investment, it will also help reduce the island’s dependence on fossil fuels and help create a cleaner environment for generations to come.
The project was designed and installed by CuisinArt and Inovateus and skillfully supported by SwitchLogix and PDE Total Energy Solutions.
Gordon's expertise in the area of industrial energy efficiency and alternative energy. He is an experienced electrical engineer with a Masters degree in Alternative Energy technology. He is the co-founder of several renewable energy media sites including Solar Thermal Magazine.