Mike Lightbourn is very much a man of the environment, always wanting the best for the health of the community. He is well known by many for the delicious fresh produce grown on his farm but he has recently branched out into the realm of solar energy.
He has been interested in solar for many years and in fact chose to reside in Little Harbour, the only community on Abaco which is off the grid. Here he met Greg Johnston who has had fifteen years of experience with solar since he works with his father, Pete Johnston, at Pete’s Pub in Little Harbour which now runs entirely off solar power.
They decided to form a partnership and in the latter part of 2013 opened their company ‘South Island Solar’ located at the rear of the Abaco Shopping Centre. Greg takes care of the technical side of the company while Mike manages the sales and marketing.
Once their company was up and running they found that jobs came in quickly, their first being the building of a power station for Black Fly Boathouse in Schooner Bay. Much business comes to them from the community of Little Harbour since the residents there are very dedicated to sustainable living.
The company’s latest project is the installation of a complete solar system to power the new Frank Kenyon Research Centre which is being constructed by the Friends of The Environment. Only nickel iron batteries are being used since these not only have a life of 25 years which is four times that of an acid battery but there is also less hazardous environmental waste. This centre will be used as an educational model both by FRIENDS and South Island Solar; all components will be labeled and people will be able see how the entire system works.
The company installs and maintains complete solar systems for homes, boats and businesses. Their inventory includes solar panels, pool pumps, A/C units, backup power systems, golf cart charging systems, instant water heaters, controllers, chargers, inverters and batteries. Their highest quality solar panels are manufactured by Kyocera and are reputed to be the highest quality in the world. The inverters and charge controllers are by Outback which are also considered best in the world and are designed for harsh environments. Batteries are by Encell, Rolls and Full River. Also sold are iPhone solar charging cases.
South Island Solar is also looking to open stores in Nassau and Grand Bahama this year.
“We are positioning for the future; we want to make a positive impact and educate people;” says Mr. Lightbourn. “Customer service is very important to us and if there is any problem we are there. We offer free, friendly service for life.” Three different crews work under certified foremen.
Persons interested in what this company has to offer can visit the website at southislandsolar.com or their Facebook page. Telephone contact is 242 577 SOLR.