June 11, 2017

Surrounded by jungles and adventures.

Farm stay, Central Vietnam

The couple behind Phong Nha Farm stay in Vietnam shows how you can live off-grid and make good money at the same time. Australian Ben and his wife Le Thi Bich founded the farm stay in 2010, and it is a hidden pearl for off-grid lovers. You find Phong Nha Farmstay miles from civilisation, located between the coast and the mountains in the northern part of Central Vietnam. It is highly recommended if you are passing, but you should hurry – tourists are starting to rush to the area.

The farm stay is described as a “French Colonial style accommodation, set in idyllic surroundings of rice paddy fields on the edge of the famous Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, just off the Ho Chi Minh Trail”.

It is the ideal base for wild adventures, discovering caves or just relaxing in a hammock. They even have free bicycles so you can discover the local village nearby!

An exotic farm stay

The couple´s idea was to start a business in the middle of nowhere, and even though they received a lot of comments from family members and the community such as “you will never see any westerners, you are wasting your money and you time” it has shown to be a huge success!

From housing people in hammocks at their home to personally designing and building the farm stay, they set out to put Phong Nha on the map.

If you want some more information about the farm stay, click here.

If you are interested in reading more about off-grid businesses, check out the Tasmanian Winery who has gone off the grid in terms of electricity.


Read More »

Black Hills Energy Cuts Renewables Payout

Last week the South Dakota Public Utilities unanimously approved a 19 per cent reduction in pay for renewables – that is the generation credit rate Black Hills Energy pays to small renewable energy producers. This is a kick in the teeth to all who invested in renweable energy thinking they could forecast the payback time and the hit on their own personal finances.

The generation credit rate will be set to 2.75 cents per kilowatt-hour, from the current rate on 3.32 cents.

The commissionion says it may also wants to set generation credit rates differently for the kinds of fuel used to create it – so coal will get less and solar will get more.s. The decision to base the credits by sources will come no later than 2019.

“Black Hills Energy should broaden its electricity sources. About 90 per cent comes from burning coal”, he says. 

Nelson praises Richard Bell, an engineer and customer of Black Hills Energy, for bringing the concept to the commission. Bell is one of 35 small producers who receive credits on their electricity bills for the electricity they supply to the company.

 Small producers might drop out

However, due to the credit reduction, Bell is worried that small producers will drop out, and explains that many people are going to go off the grid if they are going to be compensated at such a low rate.

The commission voted 3-0 to accept the Rapid City company´s proposal. The reduction will take place on June 1st. 

 Not happy with Black Hills Energy´s deal

Joining Bell at the witness table was Jay Davis, a Rapid City lawyer who has a renewable-energy system on his house and receives generation credits from the company. He invested roughly $11.000 to install the panels and received a 30 per cent federal credit. 

“We wanted to set a good example for the rest of the community, a positive and forward looking example”, he says. 

Davis is not pleased with the deal he is getting from Black Hills Energy at the moment. He explains that he pays 9.98 cents per kilowatt-hour for electricity at his house, but gets 3.32 cents credit for the electricity produced by the solar system on his house. Worse, he says, the company charges him $9.25 monthly because he is a customer and another $12.99 per month in cost adjustments. 

Manager sees no reduction of coal in near future

Lisa Seaman, Black Hills Energy´s manager of resource planning says she does not see the company reducing their dependence on coal very much.

 “Not in the near term”, she states. “Right now the utility has enough electricity without the 35 to meet the needs of customers”.

 Nelson sees Seaman´s point, but says the company needs to start taking the small producers into consideration in the future. South Dakota’s voluntary goal by utilities is 10 percent for renewables. Black Hills

Read More »


Join the global off-grid community

Register for a better experiencE on this site!