The Government of the Virgin Islands has received a donated Organic Photovoltaics Tree (OPTree) or Solar Tree to assist with its Green Energy initiative.
Solar trees are a type of ground-mounted solarpanel system that offer a unique way to install solar panels on a residential or commercial property.
The tree was donated and planted last month by local Non-Profit organisations Green V.I. and the Rotaract Club of Tortola at the Noel Lloyd Positive Action Movement Park.
Minister for Transportation, Works and Utilities, The Honourable Kye Rymer said when he heard about the initiative a few months ago, he was excited because this came in line with the Government’s initiative of alternative energy with a target of becoming at least sixty percent green by 2030.
Visitors to Noel Lloyd Positive Action Movement Park in Road Town are able to sit down in the shade of a Solar Tree and charge their phones with power from the sun.
In on-going efforts to demonstrate that “now” is the time for BVI alternative energy, local non-profits Green VI and the Rotaract Club of Tortola installed the eye-catching “OPTree” on Saturday, July 25.
Donated to Green VI by the Brazilian company, Sunew – a world leader in Organic Photovoltaics (OPV) and a “Best For The World” environmental honoree – the OPTree converts sunlight into electricity that can charge cell phones and power lights, media devices and more.
The tree “stands alone” – not requiring connection to any other power system. It generates clean energy through “leaves” made with OPV film.
The new solar tree works perfectly as a resting place, a meeting point and a way for people to experience technologies that reduce our Carbon Footprint. Sunew’s OPV film is a solar energy technology that can also be applied to buildings, vehicles, furniture and more.
The OPTree installation and maintenance is another Green VI Partnership Project, with the Rotaract Club of Tortola, the Ministry of Transportation, Wickhams Cay Development Authority, the City Manager’s Office and the Ports Authority all lending their support. Additional sponsors include Rotary Club of Tortola, Creque’s Engineering Services, ATEC BVI, Abbi E. Christopher David Norris, Big Josh Towing and Trucking, EnS Heavy Equipment and Trucking and Sky is the Limit Trucking.
Prime Minister Andrew Fahie says the impact of Hurricane Irma in 2017 was a strong reminder of the fragility of the traditional power generation system. This region’s vulnerability to climate change has led institutions to think about safer and more sustainable alternatives.
Now, the population will be able to enjoy smart urban furniture to rest and stay connected without causing damage to the planet, being more integrated into the city in a comfortable, useful and sustainable way.
In addition, Green VI becomes a member of the Sunew Green Community and has the opportunity to join other organizations that promote sustainable actions around the world!
To reach the target of being sixty percent green by 2030, the Virgin Islands will need a veritable forest of solar trees, but this first solar tree will get islanders interested in alternative energy and it is hoped that it will inspire upcoming generations.