It was while filming Mutiny on the Bounty when Marlon Brando first set eyes on the French Polynesian island, Tetiaroa. Enthralled by its serene locale, the vast blue ocean, white sand beaches, extensive lagoons, and the local culture, he purchased the island.
In relation to Tetiaroa he said “My mind is always soothed when I imagine myself sitting on my South Sea island at night. If I have my way, Tetiaroa will remain forever a place that reminds Tahitians of what they are and what they were centuries ago”.
Brando had a vision to preserve this place. Today, the new owners operate ‘the Brando‘ on this premise.
A carbon neutral resort, the goal of the hotel operators is to obtain Platinum LEED Building certification for the hotel. In order to reduce or eliminate guest travel-related carbon emissions, they are set to make all vehicles consume energy from the sun. Guests will be able to get around the island on bicycles.
For carbon neutrality, a variety of renewable energy initiatives is applied, including:
- Sea Water Air Conditioning (SWAC) harnesses the cold of the ocean depths to provide low-energy, highly efficient cooling for all the buildings, reducing energy demands by almost 70%.
- Solar energy produced from photovoltaic solar panels along the airstrip provide over half of the resort’s remaining energy needs (showing how to make typically unused space like this productive) and solar heating provides all of the resort’s hot water.
- A coconut oil (biofuel) power station provide the other half of the resort’s energy needs. Fueled by locally produced coconut oil, this renewable power source will also support the local economy.
- Flow-batteries for storage of energy generated from solar power are made primarily from recyclable materials and have a service life of thousands of deep discharge cycle.
Ecostation on the island was established in recognition of Marlon Brando’s “dreamed of building a ‘university of the sea’ on Tetiaroa that would educate others about the many facets of this jewel”.
In benefit of the Tetiaroa Society, the Ecostation – “Te Fare rauihi” – was set up on the island. It serves as a center for scientists and researchers. Here, creativity and scientific advancement are combined to foster better humanity’s relationship with the planet and help facilitate a harmonious future for generations to come.
Article by: Jenny Garth, L’ EcoResorts.