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IDEAS Energy Contest: Indirectly charged solar ferry in St Lucia

Solar Panels

Solar Panels

To replace the inefficient and polluting two-stroke engines commonly used by boats in developing countries and to create a replicable technology that could significantly reduce the environmental damage to the eco system of small islands.

Latin America and the Caribbean



A solar boathouse will be constructed in St. Lucia, that can charge each boat up with the power it needs for its trip, enabling each vessel to travel with just the equipment it needs.

This project is one of the award-winning projects of the 2009 IDEAS Energy Innovation Contest for improving energy efficiency and expanding access to renewable energy. The contest is jointly sponsored by GVEP International, GTZ, the Inter-American Development Bank and the Korean Government.

Full Description

The mechanism that enables solar created electricity to be transferred from a battery bank to a boat in a safe and efficient way is completely new, making this a truly innovative project.

The boathouse will collect solar power from panels on its roof and contains a battery bank. This means boats can be charged up there and travel without having to carry the heavy batteries usually needed for this type of power – enabling them to take more cargo.

Based in St Lucia’s Marigot Bay, the scheme will enable residents to travel across the bay at a much lower cost and will protect the sensitive local marine life from oil residue deposited by two-stoke engines.

The aim is to create a package that is accessible to anyone trying to run a small boat that would otherwise be powered by gasoline. As the project reduces oil use and is low cost once set up, it is anticipated that it can easily be expanded.

It has been developed by Marigot Marina Management Ltd, a company that has successfully constructed a fully solar powered ferry used in the tourism industry.

About the award winner:
Bob Hathaway is a naval architect at the Marina at Marigot Bay, an exclusive marina for megayachts and large sailing yachts. There he designed and built the “Sunshine Express”, the first fully solar powered ferry in the Caribbean using local labour and expertise.

Category/ies:St Lucia News.
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