Long Run Alliance Member Mombo Camp has powered down its diesel generators for good and made the big switch to renewable solar energy. Following an investment of approximately USD 860,000 Mombo now boasts what is most likely Botswana’s largest solar array. Mombo now joins the ranks of other Wilderness camps - Xigera, Kalahari Plains, Banoka Bush Camp and Zarafa - as being 100% solar powered.
The numbers are already in and this year, Mombo is set to reduce its emissions by an impressive 97% emitting 6.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide compared to 215 tonnes during 2011. The Mombo solar array consists of 396 photovoltaic panels of 230W each, with 194 batteries. This equates to a 91 kilowatt array that produces in excess of 450kWh per day. In addition 30 solar geysers have reduced the need for fossil fuel usage even further meaning that the risk (and carbon footprint) of delivering fuel to Mombo across the fragile Okavango Delta is even further mitigated. According to Group Sustainability Director, Derek de la Harpe, "Wilderness will not build another camp without incorporating a major element of renewable energy.”
As can be imagined, making this switch has not been without its trials. Grant Woodrow, Wilderness Safaris Botswana MD, attests to this at an announcement in Maun, "This has been a mammoth task, and many contractors and Wilderness staff need to be congratulated for taking this bold financial step and getting the job done. Pula!"
This show of commitment to sustainability and continuous improvement by its members is what makes The Long Run Initiative a dynamic programme where huge strides toward a healthier planet are made each day.