PV replaces diesel at Botswana game reserve

The 35 kilowatt system is located at the company’s Xigera Camp in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. It was installed by On Track Alternative Power Pty (Ltd).

Designed to supply electricity to ten tented rooms, the installation is comprised of SolarWorld photovoltaic modules, Hoppecke batteries and SMA technology. Overall, design and construction of the system was said to have taken approximately eight weeks.

In a statement released, SolarWorld highlighted some of the challenges in installing photovoltaics in a game reserve: "On Track built a wooden walk way at the height of the base of each string so as to facilitate cleaning as local wild birdlife settles on the modules.

"An electrified fence surrounds the entire installation to prevent hyenas from chewing through the system or an elephant from pushing against the fencing, and the entire system has been earthed with copper wiring in the event of frequent lightning strikes."

The reason behind Wilderness Safaris’ move to solar is the rising price of fuel and the "ever growing" demand to reduce carbon emissions. Power is required to run the lodges located at the parks and game reserves.

"We are once again very pleased to support another project which strongly highlights the manifold use of these systems, whether for ecologically sensitive tourism operations or rural village electricity supply," commented SolarWorld Africa’s managing director, Gregor Kuepper.

Wilderness Safaris operates luxury camps and safaris throughout Botswana, Namibia, Malawi, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and the Seychelles.