God has blessed our Thomazeau Hope Center with a huge natural resource – the sun! To take advantage of this great energy source, we have dreamed for years of a solar electric system to reduce the need of our large diesel generator. This past March, God answered our prayers! A 7-kilowatt system is now in place thanks to a number of generous contributors:
SolarWorld: a donation of solar panels
AEE Solar: Engineering design work JD Solar Solutions: panel racks, inverters, and peripheral equipment
US Air Force: free jet shipping
An incredible volunteer team of installers from Connecticut, Ohio, and Tennessee came in March to make this system a reality. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Jim and Jodi Dean who have steered this project, and we are so thankful for our installation crew – Mark McCullough, William Anderson, Peter Scanlon, Bob and Lorraine King.
The system currently provides power for three deep-water pumps, two cistern pumps, the orphanage kitchen and dining hall, and the new orphanage dormitory. Solar energy is stored in 24 huge batteries, each weighing over 100 pounds. A small 15-kilowatt Kohler power generator is on standby to turn on automatically during times of peak usage to keep the batteries from fully discharging. Future efforts will transition additional buildings from the old generator system to the new solar system producing significant cost savings.