Tourism for All – Lighting Up a Eco-Resort

Renew partnered with CENFP-Tibar, our local technical partner in Timor Leste, to deliver the installation of a solar system in remote eco-lodge.  The project was funded by USAID’s Tourism for All project in Timor Leste.

‘Mario’s Place’ is a small eco-lodge that sits on the western shores of Atauro Island in the small village of Adara (population 200).  It is accessible only by foot or by boat.   The buildings are traditional timber framed structures clad with grasses.  It is basic and feels like you are more part of the village.  This, I am sure, is something worthy of anyone venturing this far off the beaten track!

The lodge’s main income is from trekkers that make the 3-4 hour walk over the mountain from the main towns on the eastern shores of the Island and from the customers of Dili based dive operators.

Mario, the proprietor, introduces himself as “Super Mario” to all foreigners.  An apt moniker.  He is full of energy, articulate and is an entrepreneur who cares about his community.  The lodge contributes to the incomes of up to 7 households (or close to 20% of the community).

A 1.2kW solar system was installed to operate the cabins and the common area.  Low wattage LEDs globes and fans were used.  DC phone charging outlets were installed in the cabins, and AC outlets were only installed in the common area for recharging other devices and the capacity to operate a laptop and printer for administration.  Two smaller systems were also installed on the ablution and kitchen buildings.

Fortune has it that Mario’s brother is one of the trainees that graduated from CNEFP’s most recent photovoltaics course.  He was part of the installation team and will be an asset to Mario to ensure his system is well maintained.

Renew hasn’t been able to inspect the installation, but reports are good.  CNEFP-Tibar once again shows its competency.  Renew should be very proud of the part we have played in helping build CNEFP’s photovoltaic capabilities.  This is a lasting impact.