The Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel is excited to announce that we have something new and incredibly sustainable on the horizon! In addition to our highly sustainable practices here at the World’s Leading Green Hotel, we are proud to announce the upcoming introduction of our brand-new, shiny and completely solar-powered Solar Ray (transfer boat)!
First things first: Why does the Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel even have a transfer boat?
Our transfer boat is the second to last step in getting our guests from Baltra Airport to the Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel. You’ll find the transfer boat waiting for you at the docks of Puerto Ayora, not far from where your airport transfer vehicle drops you off. The distance from the Puerto Ayora docks to Muelle de los Alemanes (German Dock) is around 400 meters (1,300 feet), a crossing which is done in under 5 minutes.
What’s up with this new transfer boat? What makes the Solar Ray so sustainable?
This sustainable project in Galapagos was carried out in tandem with Kara Solar – a highly reputable group known for bringing solar-powered transport to the Achuar communities in the Ecuadorian Amazon! Up until now, Kara Solar has helped over 1,000 people that form a part of these Amazonian communities, which themselves are spread out along 67 km (42 mi) of river. The solar-powered boats are managed and operated by an Achuar team.
It’s thanks to Kara Solar’s help that our Finch Bay Solar Panga (formerly known as the Finch Bay I) has now been retrofitted to work with a fully electric motor.
Not one but four solar panels are now situated on the boat’s rooftop, which provide provisional power to the boat’s electric engine. The boat itself will receive the rest, if not most of its charge, directly from the grid over at Metropolitan Touring’s offices in Puerto Ayora. Nevertheless, these lightweight solar panels that are firmly attached to the stainless steel rooftop will be responsible for transforming sunlight into electricity, which will then be stored in the boat’s batteries. Have a look at this prototype below:
In summary, the Solar Ray has now been installed with:
- Four 370 W solar panels (1,480 W or 1.48 kWh, in total)
- Four 2.7 kWh batteries (10.8 kWh, in total)
- Four 1.7 kWh chargers (6.8 kWh, in total) to allow the boat to charge with a 220V plug.
- A charge controller
- A console with a steering wheel and speed throttle
- Hydraulic steering
What benefits do solar-powered services in Galapagos have, exactly?
Virtually silent and with zero-emissions, the Solar Ray diminishes noise pollution throughout the fragile Galapagos environment while also cutting down tremendously on our dependence on gasoline. Both of these factors help us take better care of the surrounding wildlife that often peacefully glides around and under our transfer boat.
With this new project, the Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel and Metropolitan Touring hope to demonstrate just how viable ecological and “green” transportation can actually be in Galapagos, rather than just see it as just a gimmick or a concept that sounds nice but never really works that great in practice. We’re here to tell all those naysayers otherwise: solar-powered services, such as our Solar Ray transfer boat, are absolutely feasible in Galapagos. And, in the case of our new Solar Ray, they’re here to stay.
Every day is an opportunity for change, and little by little, we’re hoping to let go of our dependency on fossil fuels here in the Galapagos Islands – a UNESCO World Heritage Site!
So which hotel in Galapagos offers solar-powered services?
Now you know! The Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel does!
Once we have her in service, we can’t wait to have you take a ride with her when you come stay with us at the Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel!