Last Friday at San Francisco Pier, Puerto Ayora (Galápagos), Deputy Head of Mission Tina Hamilton and Minister for Environment Lorena Tapia inaugurated the solar vessel ‘Solaris’. This was an initiative developed by the British Embassy Quito, the Environment Ministry through the Directorate of the Galápagos National Park, and in cooperation with WWF, as part of efforts made to seek alternatives for the generation of clean energy. This is the first vessel to operate in the Galápagos using green technology and clean energy.
The boat “Solaris” is named after the starfish Heliaster Solaris, native Galápagos species last seen in 1983. It has eight solar panels that capture energy to power a small motor and all electrical and navigation equipment. It can carry up to 11 people at 7 knots.
The ceremony was attended by Deputy Head of Mission Tina Hamilton; British Embassy Political and Projects Officer Joaquín Vallejo; the Director of the Galápagos National Park Víctor Carrión; Juan Carlos García, representative from the World Wildkife Fund (WWF) Galápagos programme; Leopoldo Bucheli, Mayor of Santa Cruz; Pedro Zapata, Mayor of San Cristóbal, among other local authorities, and Galo Abril, Honorary Consul of Sweden in Ecuador.
After the inauguration, Tina Hamilton, Minister Tapia, the Mayors of Santa Cruz and San Cristobal and the Honorary Consul of Sweden adopted land tortoises in the Galapagos National Park breeding centre. Tina named her turtle ‘Ciaran’ after her son.