solar power

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Amid Chernobyl's Ruins, One Thing of Value Remains

Sunshine is about the only thing safe to export from the exclusion zone

(Newser) - If anything, the land in the 1,000-square-mile exclusion zone left largely untouched since the Chernobyl disaster of 1986 is cheap. After all, studies suggest it won't be inhabitable until the year 4986, reported McClatchy DC in April, and pretty much nothing can be harvested from it. But now... More »

Manhattan May Get World's First Underground Park

Remote skylight solar tech could allow enough natural sunlight for photosynthesis

(Newser) - In 2009, right around the time the first section of the much-lauded High Line project opened to the public, offering New Yorkers access to an unused section of elevated railroad tracks in Manhattan that had been transformed into a green space, a couple of guys chatted one night over "... More »

Town's Fear of Solar Farms Is an Internet Sensation

Especially one guy's concern about panels sucking up all the sun's energy

(Newser) - The town of Woodland, North Carolina, is taking a drubbing online after its town council not only shot down a proposed solar farm but put a moratorium on future similar projects. It wasn't the mere rejection, however, that's drawing ridicule but some of the comments made by local... More »

Solar-Plane Pilot Flies While Hypnotized

Bertrand Piccard says it helps him endure the long hours

(Newser) - One of the guys circumnavigating the globe in a cramped solar-powered plane has a unique piloting plan: Take a nap, hypnotize himself, repeat, LiveScience reports. Swiss psychiatrist Bertrand Piccard says it helps him endure the long hours, including the plane's five-day flight from China to Hawaii that began today.... More »

Solar Plane Preparing for Toughest Journey

Solar Impulse 2's Pacific crossing could begin as soon as Thursday

(Newser) - Two months after beginning a 21,700-mile , round-the-world journey, the Solar Impulse 2 is about to embark on its toughest challenge yet: a Pacific Ocean crossing. While a typical aircraft can make the trip in 12 hours, the Impulse 2, which runs entirely on solar power and travels between 20mph... More »

Solar-Powered Plane Starts 2nd Leg of Epic Journey

Solar Impulse 2 flying from Oman to India today

(Newser) - A Swiss-made solar-powered aircraft took off just after dawn today from Muscat, Oman, bound for India for the second leg—and its first sea crossing—in a historic round-the-world trip. Pilot Bertrand Piccard was at the controls of the single-seater Solar Impulse 2, which is making the 910-mile journey from... More »

Solar Plane Begins Round-the-World Flight

'Solar Impulse' journey will take 5 months

(Newser) - With its wings stretched wide to catch the sun's energy, a Swiss-made solar-powered aircraft took off from Abu Dhabi just after daybreak today in a historic first attempt to fly around the world without a drop of fossil fuel. Solar Impulse founder André Borschberg was at the controls of... More »

California Opens World's Biggest Solar Power Plant

Interior secretary celebrates Desert Sunlight Solar Farm

(Newser) - Planet Earth's biggest solar power plant opened for business yesterday right here on American soil, the Desert Sun reports, with Interior Secretary Sally Jewell on-site in California's Riverside County to mark the opening of the Desert Sunlight Solar Farm. The plant, which boasts 550 megawatts of power and... More »

Political Strategist Has House, Cars Blown Up

Strategist for pro-solar candidate loses all of his belongings

(Newser) - A political strategist in Louisiana saw his possessions go up in smoke this week when two firebombs blew up his cars and spread far enough to burn down his home, WWL reports via Fusion . Mario Zervigon, his family, and fellow tenants escaped their New Orleans apartment building on Thursday, leaving... More »

Why Birds Are Igniting in Midair Over California

Cleaner energy sometimes comes at a cost

(Newser) - A cutting-edge solar technology in California's Mojave Desert may have a bit too much cut. Wildlife officials say they've counted one bird being scorched to death every two minutes by intensely focused rays of light at the BrightSource Energy plant, considered the largest solar thermal power plant of... More »

Most Solar Panels Facing the Wrong Way

Study suggests they should be oriented west, not south

(Newser) - If you happen to have solar panels on your house, they might need a change of direction. A new study suggests that the standard industry advice (at least in this hemisphere) of having the panels face south is wrong, reports National Geographic . Try west instead. The study by the Pecan... More »

Solar Plane Lands in NYC, Wraps Epic Journey

Wing tear aborts planned fly-by of Statue of Liberty

(Newser) - The Solar Impulse sent its cross-continental odyssey into the history books last night, reports the AP , landing at New York's JFK Airport at 11:09pm to complete the journey's final leg. The plane, powered by about 11,000 solar cells and that glowing orb in the sky, left... More »

Solar Plane Sets Distance Record in 18-Hour Flight

But Phoenix-Dallas flight wasn't exactly shredding any speed records

(Newser) - The Solar Impulse—the entirely solar-powered plane you have to be a little bit crazy to fly —isn't even close to finished with its ambitious cross-country odyssey , but it's already made history. The Impulse broke its own record for the longest solar-powered flight today when it landed... More »

First Cross-Country Solar-Fueled Flight Takes Off

Pilots to undergo amazing physical feat of endurance

(Newser) - A solar-powered plane took off this morning for what will be the first exclusively sun-fueled cross-country flight . The Solar Impulse left a California airfield at 6am, and should ultimately land in Washington by mid-June, with five stops along the way, the Washington Post reports. It's the first solar-powered plane... More »

Solar-Powered Plane Ready for Toughest Flight Yet

Solar Impulse will take off May 1, cross country

(Newser) - Solar Impulse is ready for its toughest challenge yet: Starting May 1, the sun-powered plane will begin a long, slow trip from California to the other side of the United States, reports the Mercury News . With four 10-horsepower engines, the Solar Impulse flies at 35 miles per hour—that's... More »

Abound Solar Files for Bankruptcy

US Department of Energy had funded this one, too

(Newser) - Another government-supported solar panel company bit the dust today, Reuters reports. Abound Solar filed for Chapter 7 liquidation in Delaware after receiving about $70 million of a $400 million loan from the US Department of Energy, the firm said. The 125-employee company said it also had $300 million in private... More »

Giant Solar Plant in Mojave Could Flip Airplanes

Mammoth Ivanpah plant gives rise to many safety concerns

(Newser) - The largest solar energy plant in the world could bring a surprising array of dangers to the Mojave Desert when constructed is completed, reports the LA Times . First off, it's huge: 170,000 large mirrors will be installed at the Ivanpah plant, heating water in three 45-story towers to... More »

Plane Makes 1st Solar-Powered Intercontinental Flight

Solar Impulse travels from Spain to Morocco

(Newser) - A plane powered entirely by the sun is nearing the end of the world's first solar-powered intercontinental flight. The Solar Impulse left Madrid early this morning, crossed the Strait of Gibraltar, and entered Moroccan airspace, AFP reports. The carbon-fiber plane, which is the size of a jumbo jet but... More »

Romney Also Threw Cash at Solar Failures

In seeking to bring Mass. jobs, Romney was same as Obama in 'picking winners and losers'

(Newser) - Brace yourself for another round of political I-know-you-are-but-what-am-I: Mitt Romney has repeatedly hammered President Obama for the White House's role in Solyndra's meltdown, but now Konarka Technologies, another solar energy company in which Romney invested public funds as Massachusetts governor, has gone bankrupt, reports the Boston Herald . Romney... More »

Solar-Powered Vessel Travels 'Round the World

MS Turanor PlanetSolar lands safely in Monaco

(Newser) - A cool, spaceship-like catamaran dropped anchor in Monaco yesterday after completing the first-ever round-the-world trip by a solar-powered vessel, the LA Times reports. The MS Turanor PlanetSolar left Monaco in September of 2010 with the goal of showing "that we have the technologies as well as the knowledge to... More »

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