A one megawatt solar generation system installed by Inovateus Solar at the CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa in Anguilla, BWI is helping the resort meet both energy and water requirements. Anguilla is an island in the Caribbean, east of Puerto Rico.

The innovative solar power system is powering the resort’s reverse osmosis water plant and reducing energy costs, addressing both water and energy shortages in the Caribbean while also setting the standard for other islands and resorts in the region.

Anguilla recently joined the Carbon War Room 10-Island Challenge to reduce the Caribbean carbon impact. The solar system installed by Inovateus for CuisinArt is currently the only significant positive step made into renewables, with the new power plant saving 1.2 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions annually.

The solar power system uses a battery backup system to store energy, ensuring uninterruptible energy supply to the reverse osmosis (RO) plant throughout the day. The RO plant creates potable solar water for the residents on the island and guests of the resort as well as irrigation water for the golf course.

The solar plant is completely isolated from the grid and also has the unique benefit of being able to reconnect partial loads in a discretionary way to continue desalination outside solar production hours. For those hours when the sun is down, it depends on the local utility, Anguilla Electricity Company Ltd. (Anglec) for energy.

Peter Rienks of Inovateus explains that the payback on this project will immediately save CuisinArt hundreds of thousands of dollars per year, adding that the system could be duplicated on any island in any country around the world.

According to Rienks, fresh water scarcity is a global issue, and is particularly acute in the Caribbean islands. Utilising solar power to convert salt water to potable water for human consumption is an important concept that must be promoted worldwide.

Rory Purcell, the resort’s Chief Engineer comments that the initiative is not only viable and secure but also a proven strategy to penetrate the national demand with renewable energy far in excess of the usual grid tied limits. Describing photovoltaics as a low environmental impact source, designed to withstand Category 5 hurricanes, low flying objects and poorly directed golf balls, he said the system has a low maintenance requirement with a life expectancy in excess of 25 years.

Purcell adds that the reduced energy cost represents significant savings for the resort and is a standard-setting example to other Caribbean islands and resorts that operate in the region and across the world.

Located adjacent to the resort’s reverse osmosis plant, the solar array supports the plant’s daily capacity of 1.25 million gallons of fresh water. The water supply services the 130-key CuisinArt Resort featuring an 18-hole Greg Norman Signature Golf Course, the new 80-key Reef Hotel, an award-winning spa and six full-service restaurants. CuisinArt also operates hydroponic and organic farms, a 500,000 square foot residential estate, and irrigation systems for extensive landscaping and the 285-acre golf course.

GE partnered with Inovateus on the project. GE’s Peter Foss says that CuisinArt has set a sustainable precedent for photovoltaic water purification throughout the world. GE's wide variety of products helped them find the best solution for the resort’s needs.

He added that the project not only offers a great return on investment, but will also help reduce the island’s dependence on fossil fuels and create a cleaner environment for generations to come.

The project was designed and installed by CuisinArt and Inovateus. The construction was ably supported by SwitchLogix and PDE Total Energy Solutions.