This issue highlights: Christmas Island
December and January can be cold, windy, snowy and icy here in the United States. It makes us dream of places that are warm and sunny. And since it’s the holidays, Christmas Island comes to mind.
Christmas Island, located in the Indian Ocean, is 236 miles south of Java and 1645 miles north west of Perth, Australia. It was named Christmas Island when Captain William Mynors of the East India Ship Company and his vessel, the Royal Mary, arrived on Christmas Day, December 25, 1643. He was unable to land, however, so it was not until 1688, when the English buccaneering ship Cygnet arrived under Captain Swan, that the first recorded landing took place.
Here at Power Solutions, LLC, this island captured our attention because it is off the grid. Electricity is generated by diesel plants in the power station located on the island, and is operated by the Indian Ocean Territory Power Authority.
Christmas Island is far enough offshore that it may never be wired to the mainland. As home to over 2000 residents and countless visitors each year, Christmas Island still needs power so they use diesel generators to generate most of their electricity. In 2012 they invested in upgrades to their power station that would provide more reliable power generation for the community at Christmas Island in the long term.
- Replaced aging infrastructure
- Provided capacity for the power station to meet recent increases in maximum demand
- Planned for integration with any renewable energy sources that may be developed on the Island
- Reduced greenhouse gas emissions
- Can support future development initiatives on the island
Christmas Island is just one example of an offshore island that is off the grid. Closer to home, off the shore of Rhode Island, is Block Island. Until this year, Block Island was off the grid and generated its own electricity using diesel generators. This summer, the first offshore wind farm in the United States became operational off the southeast coast of Block Island. The New England sea breezes there generate not only enough power for the residents and visitors of Block Island, but also a surplus that is sent back to the mainland via ocean floor cabling and sold to the area’s major utility.
Creative power solutions for off-grid applications are becoming more sophisticated and common as technologies develop. Power Solutions is committed to continuing to evolve and grow with the new trends in our industry. This holiday season, we’d like to thank you for your business and we look forward to working with you in 2017 and beyond.