Palmwag goes solar for conservation
Palmwag has become a hub of activity for conservationists. It is now the location of the headquarters of the famous Save the Rhino Trust, housing between 50 and 70 staff members and field personnel. It always made do with a small solar power system but the energy demand has grown to such an extent that a more robust solution was needed.
This week the German Embassy announced it will support the Save the Rhino Trust with Eur25,000, about N$433,000 to install a much larger solar power system. The trust, represented by its Chief Operations Officer, Dr Axel Hartmann, signed an agreement with the embassy, represented by the Ambassador, HE Christian-Matthias Schlaga for financial assistance to buy and install a 56 kW solar power system.
The Save the Rhino Trust has played a major role in the protection of rhinos. The organization carries out daily anti-poaching patrols in rugged terrain of more than a million hectares with few fences, no national park status and no control over who goes in or out.
For optimal logistics, the MaiGoHa Field Base Station had been established some years ago at Palmwag and has become the hub of a regional collaborative rhino protection effort. The Field Base Station is not connected to the national electricity grid but has managed until recently with a small Solar Power System. Rapid expansion requires more energy, both for the staff and for the electronic surveillance equipment, as well as the data processing unit.