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Luna Lodge: Powered by Hydro

1/18/2011 1:29:39 PM

Tags: Luna Lodge, hydropower, micro hydro power, renewable energy, Costa Rica, Osa Peninsula, Robyn Griggs Lawrence

Robyn Griggs Lawrence thumbnailWe’ve left the grid. I’m on the very tip of the Osa Peninsula, in the Carate River Valley, an area that has remained fairly pristine and untouched by power plants and reservoirs. The rugged individuals who live and work here make their own power, tapping into the sun and the considerable reserves of hydroelectric power generated by myriad natural streams and waterfalls.

Luna Lodge, our home for a couple of nights, relies solely on power generated by a micro-hydro station that draws water in a half-inch tube from a kilometer away. A company in San Jose designed Lana’s system, and her staff members helped build it. They built the dam, carried all the tubing up a steep forested hill and put the system together—a bonus when repairs and maintenance are needed, as they’re intimately familiar with it.

Two turbines generate 2.6 kilowatts, enough to keep the lodge running—as long as guests and staff members are careful. “We have to educate our guests about the importance of living sustainably,” says Luna Lodge owner Lana Wedmore. “Sometimes when I tell people that we’re 100 percent hydro, they can’t fathom that.”

I'll post video of Lana and her hydro system once we're back on the grid.

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