The Bahamas are set to change their identity in the world for good. 2020 onwards, they won’t just be known for acres of white sandy beaches, a god-sent strip of 700 picturesque islands and well, Cat-5 hurricanes. The islands will now be recognized for the first-of-its-kind reconstructed, post- hurricane solar power grid.
Ragged Island, a small, hilly retreat in the Bahamas is now home to the first of many, hurricane-proof solar microgrids. This setup is low into the ground, unlike traditional solar panels. Such a construction is meant to help it withstand up to 180 miles per hour winds. Consequently, the microgrid has enough capacity to provides energy for the island’s 100 residents.
Where does a small island get the money to invest in renewable energy assets, you ask? Well, the Bahamas collectively spend $400 million a year to import diesel from the US. This trade has always been a staple to access electricity for citizens and thousands of tourists. Hence, it has traditionally supported the island’s tourism.
Considering the massive expenditure on fossil fuel, this investment in solar power sounds pretty sustainable. Moreover, with solar costs plummeting and ROIs skyrocketing, it’s only a matter of time till this initiative becomes a precedent for many such projects to follow.
Using these innovative means, Bahamas are aiming to source 30% of their power from renewable means by 2030. The Bahamian Prime Minister calls this ‘laboratory for a solar future’ an example for the world. Definitely a commendable feat.
Amidst gusty winds and large-than-life currents, renewables are finding a way to help humanity find their way to sustainable, cleaner energy.