Renewable Energy and Sustainability
Oliver’s Village is totally off-grid. We rely on renewable energy resources, such as sunlight and rain, to provide the power and water we use. At any given time there will be as much as 300 beneficiaries using the services at Oliver’s Village. We have to ensure that our use of renewable energy resources can cope with the demand. Our investment in renewable energy has resulted in the construction of a photovoltaic sub-station and several biogas digesters.
We have constructed a photovoltaic sub-station which can produce 5-7kW of power per day. This is sufficient to provide our present day needs, but as more of our services become available to our beneficiaries we will have to expand our demand for renewable energy. Once construction of the education centre is complete, we will install a solar power system on the roof. This extra addition of renewable energy will be sufficient to meet our daily demands of electricity.
Biogas is produced from sewage, agricultural waste, manure and other organic materials. Biogas is a source of renewable energy and fits in well with our commitment of eco sustainability. We use the biogas from our digesters for cooking and heating water. We are looking at using biogas generators which can be used to generate electricity
We have a total of four biogas digesters at Oliver’s Village:
- 3 fixed dome biogas digesters in which we convert agricultural waste into gas;
- A floating gas digester in which we convert black water into gas.
Groundwater and Rainwater Harvesting
We have a natural source of groundwater and we tap into this supply via a borehole. Water tanks have been strategically placed around Oliver’s Village for the purposes of rainwater harvesting. We use rainwater harvesting to conserve our groundwater supply. The rainwater is used to irrigate our food forest and vegetable farm.
We do not use municipal sewage services at Oliver’s Village. Sanitation is treated by use of dry sanitation toilets, which require no plumbing and are environmentally friendly. All the sanitation from our early childhood development system is channeled to the biogas digester to be converted to gas.