Midlife crisis averted
Remote indigenous communities in the NT have been enjoying sustainable energy from the Bushlight program for more than 20 years now! The program was operated by the Centre for Appropriate Technology from 2002 to 2013 and did some amazing work implementing real high quality solar microgrids across northern Australia.
Twenty years is a long time for technology. Iphones didn't exist in 2004 when solar was installed at Mata Mata community in Northeast Arnhem land, but those BP solar panels are still going strong. But even these solar systems are not invincible. They still look incredibly stylish, but they age, like all of us.
After so many years of service to remote communities, Saltwater Solar have been tasked with replacing some of the well-loved components on some Bushlight community systems. Amazing to think that, on some systems, we are replacing batteries like-for-like after 12 years. Same brand. Same model. Technology revolution? Sure, but if they have lasted 13 years of abuse, who are we to talk the funders into some new-fangled battery chemistry? We are big users of lithium, but in such remote places, if its not broke. (Also, 120 volt lithium cells are very hard to come by right now).
Happy 21st birthday Bushlight!