Energy experts are inviting the public to a weekend energy fair at the University of the Virgin Islands. Those who come will have a chance to view an electric car show, displays of renewable systems and hear informative workshops about energy use in the territory.
Organizers from the V.I. Energy office and the University of the Virgin Islands Green Technology Center are promoting the daylong event with the theme, “Turning on the Switch to Cleaner Energy.” The newly renamed Elridge Blake Sports and Fitness Center will play host to 20 demonstration exhibits and vendors promoting renewable energy products and services.
The public can also attend a series of workshops covering informative and practical topics, according to technology center program manager Jeannine Francis-Brown. Among the workshop topics are household tools and tips for energy efficiency, what to know about residential solar systems, powering through blackouts, cistern care, and a workshop on electric cars.
“There will be five workshops, and the workshops will repeat three times throughout the day,” Francis said, adding that some topics will rotate on and off the schedule.
Some of the broader workshop topics include a session on how Big Data can optimize efficiency when teamed up with the Internet of things. Water and Power Authority Chief Executive Officer Andy Smith will discuss the utility’s renewable resources. And a representative from Seven Seas Water will lead a workshop on desalination systems and water quality.
Saturday morning, attendees to the energy fair can hear panel discussions on the Future of Energy in the USVI. Keynote speaker Martyn Forde will join local energy experts to present the possibilities.
Forde is a Barbadian energy and knowledge management consultant from the Caribbean Electric Utility Services Corporation. He is also scheduled to deliver the keynote address at midday also on the topic of future energy prospects.
Information appearing on the website of the U.S. Energy Agency Administration published in January suggests the Virgin Islands has room to grow in its use of renewables.
“In 2020, renewables were less than 10% of the USVI’s electricity generating capacity …” agency content writers said.
Also, in the early afternoon, the energy fair hosts a presentation by members of an electric car club. “Anybody who’s ever considered an electric car will be able to talk to them,” Francis said.
Outside the Blake Center, organizers are planning an electric car show with models on display. Francis said electric car workshops, discussions and displays are a way to encourage consumers to shop and buy.
Energy Office Deputy Director Michael Jaffurs added that Saturday’s event is a chance to tell the public more about the agency’s campaign for consumers to explore solar appliances and products.
The Energy Office’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Rebate Program won an enthusiastic reception from the public earlier this year. The Energy Star Rebate Program for popular consumer items is set to start in late November.
“We’re looking forward to continuing our energy efficiency campaign,” Jaffurs said.
The St. Croix edition of the energy fair is scheduled to take place on Oct. 30 at UVI’s Albert Sheen Campus. Both events begin at 10 a.m.