Empowering conservation: efficient energy system sponsorship energises Care for Wild’s mission

A photo of Willow, a female rhino at Care for Wild

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Category: Community, Solar and Efficient, Uncategorised

Empowering conservation: efficient energy system sponsorship energises Care for Wild’s mission

Care for Wild (CFW), the world’s largest specialised orphaned rhino conservation facility, faced many challenges due to costly generators and an inefficient solar and battery system. However, in 2021, Sectional Title Solutions (STS), BC Funding Solutions (BCFS), and Bright Light (BLS), donated a complete solar system worth R2 million to the sanctuary. This efficient energy system brought about a profound transformation, significantly impacting the operations of the sanctuary and enabling Care for Wild to fulfil its mission more effectively.

Empowering Care for Wild with a continuous power supply

The installation of the solar and battery energy storage system, provided Care for Wild access to reliable power around the clock, enhancing the sanctuary’s capabilities. This uninterrupted power supply has improved various aspects of the sanctuary’s operations, reinforcing the organisation’s dedication to the conservation and protection of rhinos and biodiversity.

Workers installing ground-mounted solar panels
A baby rhino receiving medical care

Medical support for orphaned rhinos

Thanks to the implementation of the efficient energy system, ICU equipment and machines can now operate seamlessly 24/7. This invaluable resource plays a crucial role in supporting the sanctuary’s efforts to care for newly orphaned rhinos and other endangered wildlife. Drip pumps, oxygen machines, nebulisers, and diagnostic equipment can function without interruptions, guaranteeing the highest level of care for these critically compromised animals. Additionally, cameras used for animal monitoring can now run continuously, and the reliable power supply ensures that essential medical interventions can be performed without any setbacks.

Enhanced communications

The solar system’s provision of round-the-clock power has brought about substantial improvements in communication capabilities at Care for Wild. With an uninterrupted power supply and charging capabilities, the sanctuary now enjoys uninterrupted Wi-Fi connectivity and the ability to charge radios and other communication devices. This upgrade in communication infrastructure facilitates improved coordination among staff members, leading to enhanced operational efficiency, prompt emergency responses, and increased safety for both animals and personnel.

A ranger watching a rhino
March 2023 Newsletter images (46)

Improved main gate infrastructure and security systems

In May 2023, the main gate facility underwent a system upgrade, expanding its battery storage capacity from 17kWh to 40kWh. With the provision of continuous power, security cameras, access control systems, and the operations room can now operate around the clock. This upgrade ensures the uninterrupted functionality of security equipment and display screens throughout the night. By delivering a reliable power supply, the main gate can effectively implement security measures and provide real-time information, thereby bolstering the safety and protection of the sanctuary.

Efficient solution for fresh water borehole pump

With the implementation of the upgraded solar system, a solar array has been installed to power the new freshwater borehole pump. This 15.4kWp solar array will effectively operate a 7.5kW pump, delivering a consistent supply of fresh water for most of the day. This sustainable solution guarantees a reliable water source for the sanctuary’s operations, ensuring the well-being of both the animals and staff.

Baby rhino looking at the camera
Care for Wild staff member in front of two display screens

Increased power capacity at Boma Camp

A comprehensive upgrade has been completed at the Boma installation, effectively doubling its power capacity to 10kVA. With the inclusion of a 25kWh battery storage facility and an expanded solar array of 7.7kWp, the upgraded Boma camp successfully caters to the power requirements of the envisioned lab and additional cameras. This augmented power capacity facilitates efficient research and monitoring activities, contributing to the sanctuary’s conservation efforts.

Enhanced workshop facilities

The workshop has been outfitted with an 8kVA inverter, 5.5kWp of solar panels, and a 25kWh battery storage system. These upgrades guarantee a dependable power supply for the workshop, facilitating the maintenance and upkeep of essential equipment. The improved workshop facilities ensure smooth operations and efficient maintenance practices, contributing to the overall functionality of the sanctuary.

Solar power backup equipment
A baby rhino with a blanket covering its back

Environmental impact

The adoption of renewable energy aligns with Care for Wild’s commitment to environmental stewardship. Using the solar system reduces the sanctuary’s reliance on traditional energy sources, minimising its carbon footprint and mitigating its impact on the environment. By embracing sustainable energy solutions, Care for Wild sets an example for other organisations and individuals, promoting a greener and more sustainable future for all.

The donation of the complete efficient energy system had a profound transformative impact on Care for Wild. The provision of uninterrupted 24/7 power revolutionised the operations of the sanctuary, allowing for the seamless operation of critical equipment and machines, improving communication capabilities, enhancing security measures, and facilitating essential upgrades and installations throughout the facility. Care for Wild is incredibly grateful for STS, BLS and BCFS’s support, as their contribution has significantly enhanced the sanctuary’s ability to fulfil its mission of protecting and caring for rhinos and other wildlife. This partnership serves as an exemplary model of the positive influence of collaboration and sustainable solutions on wildlife conservation efforts. By harnessing the power of solar energy, Care for Wild and its donors are working together to safeguard the future of rhinos and biodiversity and create a more sustainable world for future generations.

Care for Wild's logo


Care For Wild Rhino Sanctuary is the largest rhino sanctuary in the world, spanning 28 000 ha in the greater Barberton Nature Reserve in Mpumalanga, South Africa. It also provides education and training courses on wildlife management and anti-poaching. Care for Wild is committed to protect and conserve the rhinos and their habitat for the future.