Article by Solar Novus Today
As the demand for clean energy rises, so too has the demand for energy storage. Batteries and other storage products extend the ability of renewable energy systems to provide clean power when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing. In the last few years, Aquion Energy introduced innovative, saltwater-based electrochemical batteries. Recently Aquion commissioned its first battery system in Africa. Together with SolarAfrica, an African solar energy services company, Aquion transformed power generation and supply at the Loisaba Conservancy.
This world-class ecotourism destination and hub for wildlife research in Kenya, East Africa, is far from any power grid. “Loisaba comprises 56,000 acres of pristine lands, populated by hundreds of animal species and enjoyed by thousands of visitors and guests each year,” says Tom Silvester, CEO of the Loisaba Conservancy.
Guests and staff of the conservancy used to put up with noisy diesel generators. Now, Loisaba has a microgrid consisting of two independent systems, each of which has 106 kWh of Aquion batteries paired with a 37 kW solar array. The microgrid powers a commercial laundry, swimming pool, kitchen, business services, lighting, cooling, and other facility loads during the day. It also charges the Aquion batteries, which discharge overnight and during cloudy periods.
“We embrace the idea of living lightly on the earth, minimizing our carbon footprint and maintaining a clean, safe, and sustainable environment,” says Silvester. “The use of Aquion saltwater batteries in tandem with SolarAfrica’s solar powered solutions is perfectly aligned with our approach to preserving nature, enabling us to generate power from the sun and store it for later use.”
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