The City of Stafford will add an environmental twist to its annual holiday festivities as the city marks the installation of the first solar tree of its kind in the nation.
Stafford City Council members unanimously approved installation of the city’s first solar tree in a special council session on Nov. 9.
Officials and local residents will welcome in the holiday season at the city’s annual holiday tree lighting ceremony on Nov. 29 at the Stafford Performing Arts Theatre and Convention Centre.
Humble resident Edwin Love, president/CEO of Alternative Lighting and Power and exclusive North American distributor of the Na3light solar tree, values the opportunity to integrate solar technology into one of the city’s treasured holiday traditions and commended the city for its progressive thinking.
“The solar tree speaks to the innovative atmosphere that you have in Stafford; this city is a friend to businesses, a friend to the entrepreneur and has a great spirit for innovation,” said Love.
Manufactured by Mexico City-based Energetika, a solar energy equipment supplier, the tree serves not only as a renewable, clean energy lighting source but also as an aesthetically pleasing environmental art piece charging ports for cell phones and iPads.
“Most of the time, when we think about solar power or solar panels, our minds are fixated on those rectangular panels that are put on rooftops. Functional art, as we call it, gives us a place of freedom where creativity comes alive. If you can dream it, it can be done,” said Love.
Stafford Councilman A.J. Honore described the solar tree as a “unique piece of environmental art” that the city is honored to be the first in the nation to “plant.”
“[It] is an affordable and cost-effective solution for lighting with an artistic expression that offers a wonderful opportunity for local communities to enhance public outdoor spaces with functional environmental art,” said Honore.
With a projected energy savings of .31 tons of CO2 annually (the equivalent of saving 49 trees annually) and no operational costs, the solar tree is an urban luminaire that combines an innovative design with LED technology and the latest generation of a photovoltaic system to be fully independent from any energy supplier, according to the manufacturer.
An optional upgrade to the solar tree allows for the color and lighting levels to be controlled by remote control via a smartphone.