Powering a private island retreat 20 miles from the mainland leaves you few options. The obvious is solar panels to take advantage of nature’s natural resource. But on those days when the sun is shrouded in clouds, you’re going to need a back-up.
In the case of Gladden Caye, a private getaway in the Belize Barrier Reef, Southwest Product’s VP20 diesel back-up generator was said Plan B. David Kenner, CEO of Vision Properties and a partner in the project, said he conducted an extensive search and had detailed discussions with three companies.
“I chose Southwest Products because the product is made in the U.S.,” Keener said.
The Perkins generator gave Keener an environmentally friendly option by operating with a two-stage air cleaner for lower emissions. The generator’s efficiency also gives Keener better fuel economy while the design lets the unit run with minimal vibration and low noise levels.
When Keener recently needed to replace the control panel, Brad Raph, a technical support engineer in Surprise, Ariz., worked with Keener to get the new part to Belize. Keener said the DynaGen digital control panel lived up to its billing as he was easily able to replace the old panel.
Raph’s help ticked off the second reason Keener chose Southwest Product. He wanted a company with a great support team, “which is evident by how our issue with the control panel was handled,” Keener said. “I made a good choice.”
The unique work site presented a host of challenges for the construction crew. All materials and equipment came by barge and the workers spent the entire seven-month construction period on the tiny island.
The generator, solar panels, desalination unit and other support equipment were placed next to a house where the island’s managers live. Across a short lagoon is the guest house.
The 3,000-square-foot villa sits on almost an acre. The Mayan inspired design features two master bedrooms and houses a maximum of four guests. Snorkeling, diving and a host of other water activities are just outside the home’s doors.
Keener’s business partner, Chris Krolow, CEO of Private Islands Inc. and executive producer of HGTV’s “Island Hunters,” found the location 20 miles off the coast of Placencia after flying over the area in a helicopter.
The home has been featured on HGTV, the cover of Conde Nast’s Traveler magazine and numerous other travel-related publications.
Raph is eagerly awaiting the chance to make a service call to Gladden Caye, but given the durability of the VP20 he doesn’t expect that to happen anytime soon.