'Solar trees' serve double duty as green street lamps

HUMBLE, TX (KTRK) -- Edwin Love never imagined what would fire him up in a new career direction. "We can do something incredible with the power of the sun," said Love.

The Humble entrepreneur and CEO/President of Alternative Lighting and Power says he was first exposed to solar power in the Air Force, but he didn't try to harness it until about five years ago.

"We just answered the question what happens when we infuse nature with technology and that was the birth of the solar tree," Love recalls.

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A solar seed has now grown to a 17-foot-tall tree -- a street light -- with all energy to brighten it coming from the sun. He collaborated with a company in Mexico to make it, and now one of Mexico City's major streets is lined with them.

"Because it is solar, there is no operating costs," Love explains.

The tree will be on display Friday at the Bright Futures Fair at NRG Park. It's the 30th year for the event, which was founded by late County Commissioner El Franco Lee: a day of encouraging kids to explore STEM classes and careers and see firsthand the exciting things they can do with their knowledge.

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Love says he talked more with companies overseas than in the U.S., but would love to see a long line of them in Houston. He wants kids to know solar power can extend beyond panels on a rooftop, or a treetop.

"The sky is the limit and, as long as you are able to let yourself think outside of the box, then everything is possible," said Love.
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