According to the stakeholders responsible for the project, the first of its kind in the Caribbean, it is the hope the solar tree will be used with dignity and pride by those who find it useful to charge electronic devices, use as a background for a photo shoot or relax in its shade.
The two main stakeholders of the project, the Rotaract club of Tortola and Green VI, were applauded for their initiative by Government at a ribbon cutting ceremony yesterday.
Minister for Transportation, Works and Utilities Honourable Kye M. Rymer (R5) and Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration, Honourable Vincent O. Wheatley (R9) were given the honour of cutting the bio-degradable ribbon made of coconut branches.
Present also was City Manager Mrs Janice E. L. Brathwaite-Edwards.
Giving brief remarks, Hon Wheatley commented: “I heard about this project, probably it must be six months ago, so I know it took a lot to get to this point here today and a lot of effort … its about a small step but a very important and a very significant step in the right direction.”
In similar fashion, Hon Rymer underscored the significance of the solar tree and urged persons to do their best at utilising it with care.
City Manager Mrs Brathwaite-Edwards was full of energy and excitement about the project, stating, “A solar tree in Noel Lloyd Park! What an entity to be in at this particular time. We knew that we could have put it anywhere but I am glad we put it here because since it has been commissioned I have seen people using it, so that is a positive thing and it will encourage more people to come to the park.”
Mrs Brathwaite-Edwards was even encouraging of another solar tree being placed in the park.
“We could take a second one in the park, keep that in mind green VI.”
Immediate Past President of the Rotaract Club of Tortola, Ms Khoyisha Stoutt explained that the project stated over a year ago when herself and Board entered a partnership with Green VI, exploring possibilities of executing a series of events and projects that would create a lasting impact on Rotaractors and the Virgin Islands community.
“During the year, Green VI presented at both Rotaract Tortola and Rotary Tortola's general meeting. Rotaractors had a site tour at the recycling plants, and fast forward to July 25th, we installed the first OPVTree in the BVI, which is also the first of its kind in the Caribbean,” Ms Stoutt stated.
She said the OPV Solar Tree symbolises hope for a greener VI and World, “Because now is the time for us to increase our use of alternative energy. I trust that this OPV Tree will not be the first and only, but I hope that it will start the trend for the use of more OPV energy in the BVI and Caribbean.”
The project was made possible by Sunew and Green VI with sponsorship of various forms from the Ministry of Transportation, Wickhams Cay Development Authority, the City Manager’s Office, BVI Ports Authority, 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, Sky is the Limit Trucking and Virgin Islands Productions.