Nuarro Lodge: Sustainable and responsible tourism in Mozambique
Behind the scenes, powering the Nuarro Lodge lighting shown above, is a newly upgraded Victron Energy hybrid-30kVA, 3-phase system with 38kWp of solar power. The Lodge though is but one part of the Nuarro project that Victron Energy and their partner companies are involved with.
Pristine, off-grid and remote
Nuarro Lodge, its associated chalets, activities and community based projects all form part of this award winning complex. Situated beneath the aqua blue skies of northern Mozambique, Nuarro is adjacent to unspoilt sands and the warm crystal clear coral reef waters of the Indian Ocean.
Nuarro is built from natural materials (by the local community) in an 800 hectare (8 sq km) environmentally sensitive concession area of the Baixo da Pinda peninsula. In the words of the company – working in and being considerate of such an area is all about friendly people, top-class activities and fantastic food, whilst showcasing a spectacular, pristine environment in the most responsible way possible.
Activities at Nuarro include:
- Recreational diving
- Dive courses
- Whale watching
- Dhow sailing
- Mountain biking
- Bird watching
- Beach picnics
- Local village tours
Even though it is off-grid and remote, Nuarro generates its own electricity and clean water using renewable energy which helps bring sustainable tourism to the area without compromising the basic needs and comforts of guests. This ensures the local people and community benefit also, by bringing work to the surrounding area.
Engaging with the local community in this way ensures they benefit from the growth of responsible tourism at Nuarro. This is achieved directly through donations and indirectly through the creation of jobs for the local population. From each overnight stay, $5 is donated to the local community and $2 from each activity. Several projects have been funded from these donations including the building of a community centre and medical post – plus various projects in the field of medical care, hygiene and agriculture are also being developed. Apart from donations, Nuarro has a significant impact on the development of the local economy as it employs a total of 80 local people. Added to that are approximately 1,000 family members who are dependant on the income from these jobs.
Upgrading Nuarro Lodge’s energy systems
Building of the lodge started in 2007 and the owners of the lodge have over the years upgraded the renewable energy and water system to fit the needs of the guests, community and employees. The best choice for this being a hybrid-system for the reliable generation of electricity with the lowest carbon footprint, with hot water being supplied by solar geysers directly to the buildings.
During the recent upgrades Nuarro’s owners decided to install a new inverter and solar charge system. Reliability and remote monitoring have been missing for years and the decision was therefore made to invest in Victron Energy products for their known reliability in off-grid applications in harsh and remote environments.
Energy system configuration
The off-grid system consists of a three phase 30 kVA system with 38kWp solar power, 2,400 Ah battery bank with a 40kVA back-up generator. Three Victron 10kVA Quattros in a 3-phase configuration and nine DC-coupled 150/85 MPPT Victron Energy solar charge controllers are all installed in/on one cabinet, including two battery monitors and a Color Control GX.
The 38 kWp solar power is generating an average energy of 180 kWh per day, which is partly used by the lodge during the day and also stored in the battery bank for night use.
During overcast days and high night loads the generator automatically starts based on the SOC (State of Charge) setting in the BMV battery monitors. The Color Control GX is connected via long range Wi-Fi to the Wi-Fi satellite router which connects to the internet for remote monitoring and management.
The entire lodge can run from solar including the borehole pump, water treatment plant, the diving compressor, the cold and freezer rooms, fridges and other restaurant and bar equipment. During the night the load is minimised by using timers switching off non-essentials to minimise the use of energy from the battery bank during the night.
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