The region has experienced a years-long drought
On Kili, a remote, drought-stricken atoll in the Marshall Islands, the region's second permanent solar- and wind-powered water desalination plant is now operational. Earlier this year, a similar plant was installed on Utrik, 400 miles to the north.
On Kili, Tom Vance of Moana Marine LLC installed two Spectra LB-2800 reverse osmosis desalination systems, which convert seawater into more than 5,600 gal per day of clean, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-approved drinking water. Before the installation, Kili's 1,200 residents suffered not only from drought, but from polluted groundwater, which had to be boiled before drinking.
A typical desalination plant of this size would be powered by a diesel generator. Because of the energy efficiency of the Spectra desalination systems, the whole plant can be powered by wind and solar power, saving tens of thousands of dollars per year in fuel costs. Moreover, with increasingly expensive fuel and unreliable supplies due to seasonal rough seas, alternative energy-powered systems ensure a consistent, affordable water supply.