US Virgin Islands Power Authority Encourages Wind Power

Now here’s something you don’t see everyday: according to this ENN story (via Treehugger),

U.S. Virgin Islands residents ought to switch to solar power because of skyrocketing oil prices, an official said Thursday…

Home owners and businesses could save millions by drawing on the U.S. Caribbean territory’s sunny skies to make their own electricity, said Alberto Bruno-Vega, who heads the power authority. Consumers could buy and install solar panels with help from government loans and grants and sell excess energy to the government, he said.

“It may sound crazy to tell customers to shop somewhere else, but we need to switch away from fuel oil,” Bruno-Vega said.

Of course, Mr. Bruno-Vega’s suggestions aren’t meant only as a public service: prices on imported fuel oil are skyrocketing so much that the government of the VI can’t afford to pay it’s own electric bill, and the Power Authority has refused to provide power for new schools or health clinics until the government’s $16 million debt is paid. Still, it’s great to see a call for common sense — the tropics ought to be the ideal place to generate electricity via solar cells.

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