July 02, 2014

ASU partners with US Virgin Islands on renewable energy projects, education

Posted: July 02, 2014
U.S. Virgin Islands representatives meet leaders at ASU
Gary Dirks, director of ASU LightWorks and the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability, ASU Provost Robert Page and U.S. Virgin Islands Governor John P. de Jongh, Jr. discuss sustainability at Arizona State University.
Photo by: Sarah Mason
U.S. Virgin Islands representatives meet leaders at ASU
Representatives from U.S. Virgin Islands government, utilities and industry descended upon ASU in June to collaborate. From left to right: Albert Bryan, chairman of the economic development authority board; Maria Toshkova, senior partner at SP Consulting; Bill Brandt, director of strategic integration at ASU LightWorks; U.S. Virgin Islands Governor John de Jongh; ASU Provost Robert Page; ASU LightWorks Director Gary Dirks; Karl Knight, director of the Virgin Islands Energy Office; May Cornwall, executive director of the Waste Management Authority; Wayne Archibald, director of the Caribbean Green Technology Center; Hugo Hodge, executive director of the Water and Power Authority; and Travis Johnson, ASU LightWorks project coordinator.
Photo by: Sarah Mason
ASU Provost Robert Page signs agreement with US Virgin Islands governor.
ASU Provost Robert Page and U.S. Virgin Islands Governor John de Jongh kick off the partnership during a signing ceremony in June.
Photo by: Sarah Mason

Arizona State University is partnering with the U.S. Virgin Islands to assist in the development of renewable energy practices in the island territory, as well as invigorate the renewable energy market and expand upon energy education.

U.S. Virgin Islands Governor John P. de Jongh, Jr. and ASU Provost Robert Page met in June at the ASU Tempe campus to formalize the partnership.

The partnership, a product of ASU’s dedication to sustainability and global engagement, will unite world-class faculty from ASU with U.S. Virgin Islands leaders in a common mission to transform the way in which renewable energy resources are used in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“We are excited to be partnering with the U. S. Virgin Islands and to help them develop new renewable energy practices and expand upon energy research and education,” said Sethuraman “Panch” Panchanathan, senior vice president of Knowledge Enterprise Development at ASU. “This collaboration is a great opportunity for the university to work side by side with the Virgin Island leaders, utilities and university to create solutions to sustainability challenges that face our communities locally and globally.”

This partnership is designed to help the island territory advance upon its goal of reducing its fossil fuel consumption in 2025 by 60 percent from its 2009 baseline. The Virgin Islands is pursuing a combination of renewable energy and energy efficiency deployment.

“The value created by this partnership provides the various agencies of the government with the responsibilities for energy efficiency and conservation, waste management, energy education and entrepreneurship, and expansion of our renewal energy platform with an institution that can provide, in one location, research capabilities and practical applications that allow for implementation in a reduced time frame," de Jongh said. "We have established a strong foundation, and based on the work already done by the Energy Office, WAPA, Waste Management and the university, we are ready to execute plans that will benefit our community [in] areas that have long been discussed."

Arizona State University has made a commitment to energy generation and sustainable practices by aiming to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025. The university has installed more than 78,000 solar panels across its campuses, initiated energy conservation standards for each of its buildings and made utility infrastructure upgrades, among many other accomplishments.

Sarah Mason, sarahmason@asu.edu
480.727.9658
ASU LightWorks