The grand opening of Friends of the Environment’s Frank Kenyon Centre for Research, Education and Conservation will take place on April 30. As construction continues, the anticipation mounts as FRIENDS staff members look forward to this great milestone and the positive and lasting contributions the Centre will bring to Abaco.
Kristin Williams, FRIENDS Executive Director, and Olivia Patterson Maura, FRIENDS program coordinator, were hyped about the Centre being fully solar powered.
To construct the Frank Kenyon Research Centre, FRIENDS received funding from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Global Environment Facility Small Grants Program and partnered with South Island Solar owners Michael Lightbourn and Greg Johnston.
With 60 solar panels in place, the Centre will generate 15 kilowatts of power and also be able to power the existing FRIENDS Education Centre Building.
Kristin said that although someone will be onsite 24 hours a day, the system is hooked up to BEC but will not feed back into BEC. It was set up that way in the event the solar system does not receive sufficient sunlight then BEC would charge the batteries.
She pointed out that they are using cutting edge technology with regard to the batteries as well because they contain no acid or LED, just Nickel-Iron technology filled with distilled water. This also allows them to be properly disposed of.
The solar system array also includes three inverters that are able to handle up to 24 KW of power. This gives them the option of tying in another system like a generator of wind turbine in the future.