Solar power is really catching on with new innovative building designs.These are of course out of reach of the average person but it is setting a fine example to corporate and government architects. Some people for whatever reason will be critical of the expense but these companies and government entities are thinking of the future and the ability to be independent.
I am still puzzled why over so many years some “Free Energy Fanatics” are so critical of the development of renewable energy. All of us would love to see a free energy power source…but when it comes down to what is solar? All free energy machines or devices will need a to manufactured or have some physical manifestation that will come with a capital cost and possibly maintenance. I also question where are the ” Men in Black” and the suppression from government and industry? Tesla must be the biggest threat to big oil and utilities for many decades and the governments response is not to suppress these technologies but throw money at them through subsidies and tax breaks.
If you want energy independence its simple…go buy a solar panel. Use it to charge your electric vehicle (form a bicycle to a bus). To be 100% honest these people want to be given the technology like everything else they receive in life that they feel is owed to them. I will now step down of my soap box and hope you all see the good in the following initiatives, not look for some conspiracy theory.
Apple’s new $5 billion headquarters
Apple’s new $5 billion headquarters in Cupertino, California, will not only contain the largest pieces of structural glass ever made, but also one of the largest solar arrays for a corporate building in the world. The technology giant is taking advantage of its copious rooftop surface area to install thousands of solar panels with an estimated output of 16 megawatts of power. The campus will also feature 4 megawatts of biogas fuel cells and source additional renewable energy from a nearby 130 megawatt solar installation from First Solar.
Melbourne’s off-grid skyscraper
A new 60-story apartment building slated for Melbourne’s skyline is aiming to offer future residents a completely off-grid experience. To achieve this, Peddle Thorp Architects have designed a building with a facade wrapped in solar cells and complemented with roof-mounted wind turbines, sustainable design and a massive battery storage system. Called Sol Invictus (“invincible sun”), the building will be oriented to give its curved exterior the ability to capture as much of the sun’s east-to-west movement as possible.
General Electric’s ‘solar veil’ HQ
GE’s new sustainable headquarters overlooking the city’s Fort Point Channel will include a dramatic solar veil. According to Boston Magazine, the veil will be “composed of solar slats that will let light through, but not before it bounces off their photovoltaic surfaces.”
In addition to repurposing two old brick warehouses on the 2.4-acre site, GE also will install native plantings, rooftop gardens, and, as a sign of things to come, elevated ground floors and critical systems to account for future sea level rise. To encourage the use of mass transit, biking or walking to work, the site will feature only 30 parking spots for its expected 800 employees.
Tesla’s Gigafactory in Nevada, the future battery-production centerpiece of its electric car empire, is not only the world’s largest building by physical area (with a factory footprint of 126 acres), but also a net-zero energy facility. In addition to solar, Tesla plans on capturing complementing clean energy from on-site geothermal and wind installations. The site is currently on track to become full operational by 2020.
Copenhagen International School
Once it’s completed in 2017, the Copenhagen International School in Denmark will feature the world’s largest solar facade. The more than 12,000 colored solar panels, integrated directly into the building’s structure and glass, will produce half the energy needs of the school (around 300 megawatt hours per year).