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.