Co-operation with the WWF – Sustainable development plays a special role for Ecuador’s nature paradise – Arrival today, Tuesday, 25 January 2011
During its circumnavigation of the world entirely without fossil fuels, using only the power of the sun, MS TÛRANOR PlanetSolar is currently visiting the Galápagos Islands. The world’s largest solar boat anchored in the harbour of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, San Cristóbal, today, Tuesday, 25 January 2011, around 9.00 hrs a.m. local time (15.00 hrs UTC).
The islands, which belong to Ecuador, are a unique natural paradise unlike anywhere else in the world. They have been included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites since 1978. Sustainable development plays a special role for this region. During its stopover the PlanetSolar team will meet a number of politicians and officials who are active in the field of nature conservancy.
The visit has been made possible through a co-operation with the WWF, which has been supporting and implementing conservation activities in the Galápagos for more than 40 years in close partnership with local and national authorities, the private and public sectors, and the local community. WWF’s work in the islands is focused towards achieving a sustainable Galápagos in the future, and envisions a maximum use of renewable energy, especially as an important component in sustainable tourism. In this context the visit of MS TÛRANOR PlanetSolar offers the Galápagos Islands a concrete picture of the technological possibilities already available today in the field of renewable energy.
Raphaël Domjan, founder of the PlanetSolar project, comments: “It is an unusual experience for us to be here on the Galápagos and to be able to co-operate with the WWF and the government of Ecuador.”
After spending a few days off San Cristóbal the solar catamaran will also visit Santa Cruz, the most densely populated island in the Galápagos archipelago. MS TÛRANOR PlanetSolar expects to leave the islands again at the beginning of February.
The TÛRANOR PlanetSolar began her journey around the world in Monaco on 27th September 2010. The mission of the world’s largest solar boat is to demonstrate that existing renewable energy technologies are reliable and effective. The project also aims to advance scientific research. The PlanetSolar project, founded by the Swiss Raphaël Domjan and based in Yverdon-les-Bains (Switzerland/ Canton Vaud), has made technological developments possible in different fields such as the production of composite materials and structures as well as the storage of solar energy. For the tour, PlanetSolar can rely on technical data provided by Metéo France. A solar routing technology was specifically developed for the project. Sailing under Swiss flag and measuring close to 102 feet in length and 50 feet in width, TÛRANOR PlanetSolar is covered by a 5,700 square feet solar generator, using solar cells made by the California-based SunPower Corporation. SunPower offers solar cells which are 50% more efficient than conventional solar cells. Within a sponsoring scheme, PlanetSolar main partners are the Swiss watchmaker Candino (www.candino.com) and the energy management company Immosolar (www.immosolar.com). The project is supported by many further companies and institutions, amongst those the Swiss Confederation as Official Partner.