The Montserrat National Trust is now 90% powered by solar energy.
The system is expected to produce 90% of the Trust’s power needs, by providing electrical power to the Oriole Gift Shop, the main office building, the conference/events hall, the security lights and pump water around the Botanic Garden.
“The Montserrat National Trust endeavours to make a meaningful difference in the fight against climate change, and we recognize our responsibility to build a more environmentally sustainable future,” said Sarita Francis, Executive Director, Montserrat National Trust. “We are making a significant step forward in our environmental sustainability initiatives at the Trust and our long-term vision to protect the planet, by achieving a positive impact in our local community here in Montserrat.”
The Trust will officially launch the new system on Wednesday, 14 September 2022 at 5pm at its Salem campus.
The release said that “the development of the solar/irrigation system and the launch, follow significant efforts by the Trust to achieve its long-term climate change goals. The Trust’s commitments to date include (but are not limited to):
1. 6 Panel System – Garden Lighting (Capacity: 450 Watts): In 2003, the Trust installed a small system with six panels to provide lighting in the garden. The panels are still visible on a rotating mechanism in the garden, but they are no longer in use. The system was installed by the former Director of the Trust, Stephen McNamara with assistance from local technicians.
2. 8 Panel System – Irrigation System (30-amp solar charger): In 2017, the Trust was successful in its application to the OECS Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA) Project on Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) and Sustainable Land Management (SLM) in the Eastern Caribbean. The project addressed the issue of drought using rainwater harvesting and demonstrated how farmers and landscapers can employ similar systems to meet the energy needs associated with irrigation. This system also supplies power to the security lights on the compound. The second system was installed by local technician, Mr. Keith Thomas.
3. 14 Panel System – Montserrat National Trust Headquarters Electrical Supply (Capacity: 8,000 Watts): In 2021, the Trust was successful in its application to the
Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives Project, an initiative by the Canadian Embassy based in Barbados. The primary goal of this project was to acquire more capacity to merge with the Trust’s existing solar infrastructure and demonstrate that renewable energy can be used to enhance the sustainability and resilience of the Trust’s Botanic Garden. The third system was procured and installed by local technician Bertram Lee with Joseph Cassell as the Project Manager.
Through this new solar/irrigation system, the Trust affirms its commitment to promote the use of green energy, while safeguarding Montserrat’s beautiful environment and cultural heritage.
Other projects in the works are:
● Increasing knowledge of solar and irrigation systems and their use to support vegetable production and promote food security.
● Reducing the use and dependence on energy generated from imported fossil fuel as well as reduction in monies spent on utility expense.
● Increasing awareness of and expanded use of green energy in horticulture.
● Students pursuing studies in Electricity and Agriculture at the Montserrat Secondary School, or Environment Studies and Physics at the Montserrat Community College can use the case at the Trust for career exposure and apprenticeship attachments with the Trust.
● Using renewable energy to sustain habitat conditions suitable for the increased survival of endemic plants.
● Trust staff trained and competent in the upkeep of the solar-powered irrigation system.
● Apprenticeship training in solar energy system maintenance and irrigation targeting women and youth: creating entrepreneurial opportunities in the emerging green energy sector in Montserrat.
This project will contribute towards human well-being and livelihoods consequent to the development of this model green energy irrigation system which can be replicated.
For more information about the project or the Montserrat National Trust, contact them at 1-664-491-3086 or by email at email@example.com.