STAR (Sustainable Terrain And Resources) Island, a 35-acre cay located off the northern coast of Eleuthera, Bahamas, is a project concieved by a group of partners that employs several innovations to operate a carbon-neutral resort.
Electricity for the destination is generated using solar panels, producing pure drinking water from a reverse-osmosis system running on Franklin Electric’s solar-powered pumps, and providing organically grown food, Franklin Electric said in a news release.
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Franklin's Fhoton SolarPAK system was selected to supply the island with its potable water and will be the first of many pumping systems the company supplies for the island. They are looking at other water-based applications such as the removal of wastewater, decorative water features, and water pressure boosting applications.
The system features a submersible pump and motor, and solar controller, in one package. When used with solar panels to power the pump and motor, the system draws ground water to the surface for a variety of uses. “The system is an ideal choice for remote or “off grid” areas where delivering water is impractical due to the availability of electricity or for those that simply want to conserve energy,” the release said.
It supports other pumping applications, including livestock watering, tank and cistern filling, wildlife refuge and game farms, rural water supply for villages and homesteads, irrigation systems, fountains, vineyards, renewable energy projects, effluent pumping and rain harvesting.
“We are so honoured to be a part of the STAR Island initiative. Like most locations globally, STAR Island has ample sunlight to run a solar pumping system. Given the fact that solar panels are as cost effective as ever and delivering water via the grid is impractical, in this case, due to the unavailability of electricity, the Fhoton SolarPAK System is an ideal choice for this project,” said Don Kenney, president, North America Water Systems and vice-president of Franklin Electric.
“Our development priorities include showcasing the latest clean technologies, sustainable products and green building, all with an eye to being able to scale and replicate the project,” said the project’s founder and chief executive officer, David Sklar, of Bluffton, S.C. “We envision the island as a blueprint for the future, reducing the learning curve for others in the fight against pollution of the planet and climate change.”
The first phase of the project featuring The Beach Bar & Grill, beach cabanas and Organic Island Garden opened to the public this spring. Visitors now can enjoy lunch by the beach featuring organic island-grown produce and fresh local catches. Activities such as bone fishing, kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkelling, birdwatching and spotting sea turtles are also available.
STAR Island recently opened its first overnight stay unit offering guests an opportunity to take a sustainable lifestyle for a test drive. "The Nest" is a 650-square-foot suite located steps from the beach. Phase 2 of the project, includes construction of beachfront bungalows, as well as expansion of the power and water systems and the construction of a hydroponic greenhouse and aquaculture program.
The island is conceived as an ongoing project, where guests can get involved and by helping to harvest produce, plant a tree or create an artificial reef.