The Power of the Sun! Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve Switches to Solar Power
The Île aux Oiseaux base camp. © Parks Canada
Cleaner, quieter, and more convenient: Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve of Canada benefits from an energy saving retrofit.
Extending along the north shore of the St. Lawrence River in Quebec, Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve boasts a large migratory bird population and receives some 35,000 visits each year. On the remote Île aux Oiseaux, a base camp provides vital shelter, equipment, and supplies for park wardens, researchers, and park staff.
Once operating on a noisy and polluting (and expensive) diesel-fired generator, the base camp on Île aux Oiseaux is now powered by solar energy. Photovoltaic cells with battery back-up supply both lights and a steady power source for the only means of communication, a relay station.
Interpretive activity on île Niapiskau, Mingan National Park Reserve. © Parks Canada
Additional insulation and more efficient windows were included as part of the base camp’s upgrades and the station on Île aux Oiseaux can now comfortably accommodate 8 to 10 guests for overnight stays.
Visitors and residents alike can now enjoy the scenic beauty of the site without having to listen to a noisy generator and without the risks of fire and contamination from diesel fuel. Since the switch to solar power, Île aux Oiseaux’s annual energy costs and fuel transportation costs have been eliminated resulting in significant reductions of greenhouse gases!
The solar panel at Île aux Oiseaux. © Parks Canada