Energy to develop our work at “Costa de las Focas”

What has in common something as prosaic as electricity, with the protection of one of most endangered marine species of the world?

Probably not much, except for the fact that with this blog we want to show as accurate as possible the conditions in which we develop our daily work, the problems we face and the solutions we found through the years.

Obviously, the power grid doesn’t reach “Costa de las Focas”. And we hope it is kept this way. Nevertheless, the work done there, requires a safe supply of this type of energy.

We need electricity to work with the cameras installed at the breeding caves, to record and process the images, recharge all type of batteries and use electric tools for the diverse works done at the reserve. We need as well this energy for the daily life at the encampment. So the conservation agents and technicians of the monk seal conservation program have acceptable life conditions, with light at night or a fridge to preserve food, among others.

Therefore, from the beginning we had to generate our own electrical energy, in situ, at the field.

And fortunately we improved with time. The 90s, when we obtained electricity using gasoline generators, are long gone. A constant source of breakdowns due to hard conditions, were added to other problems as noise or to the consumption of fossil combustibles.

So we search for other solutions in line with the ethic of the monk seal conservation program and, with it, we were able to improve the situation very much. The gasoline generators were changed for two photovoltaic installations, supported by a small wind turbine. One of then to supply energy to the surveillance systems around two of the breeding caves, and the other, installed close to the encampment and of greater dimensions, for the rest.

Since then we kept improving. But the most important of all is that no more gasoline generators are used. Nowadays, all the electric power used at Costa de las Focas is totally clean and renewable. It comes from something that it is always present in this place, an endless and nature source: the sun and the trade winds. Lining with the more practical and more consistent way of how we understand life.

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