Solar Energy for the Galapagos Tortoises

Thanks to the installation of a 2.5 kW grid-tie solar electric system in one of the Galapagos National Park’s tortoise breeding centers, the famous gigantic Galapagos tortoise are now less dependent on diesel fuel for their livelihoods.

Cerro Colorado, San Cristobal Island, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, July 19, 2004 [] Fundacion Natura of Ecuador, Green Empowerment of Portland Oregon, and the Galapagos National Park, with the support of the EnerGreen Foundation, SMA America and Light up the World Foundation recently installed the 2.5 kW solar grid connected system in their goals to help support the evolution taking place on the Galapagos Islands. Since the oil spill from the vessel Jessica in 2001 there has been an international movement to convert the Galapagos Islands from a diesel and gas dependent area to an archipelago that receives its power from renewable resources. There are over 16,000 inhabitants on the Galapagos Islands and over 60,000 tourists a year visit the Enchanted Islands of the Galapagos. In order to protect this fragile ecosystem where Darwin’s theory of evolution was created a new evolution is beginning an energy evolution. This system installed at Cerro Colorado will produce approximately 2,575 kWh per year and will be used for powering the incubation of the tortoise eggs and the entire tortoise breeding center. The goal of this project was to build off of the first Galapaguera Project, in which Fundacion Natura and the Galapagos National Park installed two 550 watt grid-tie systems at the two other tortoise breeding centers on the Galapagos Islands, by continuing to assist the Galapagos National Park in its mission to be the leading example of conservation and education on the Galapagos Islands. The 2.4 kW solar PV array. Along with installing the solar grid-connected system Fundacion Natura and Green Empowerment did over a week of trainings on energy efficiency and PV System Design, Installation and maintenance. In addition this project helped the Galapagos National Park make steps to becoming more energy efficient by changing out 60 watt incandescent lighting fixtures for 1 watt LED lamps. “The Galapaguera Project has not only allowed us to continue to support our mission of being stewards of the environment, but has helped the Galapagos National Park improve its capabilities in the installation and design of solar power systems,” said Wacho Tapia Director of Management for the Galapagos National Park.
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