Nipton, California Goes Big on Solar
A small California town is dead-set on getting the bulk of itselectricity from solar energy.
Located on the northern edge of the Mojave National Preserve, the town of Nipton(population: 38) will tomorrow dedicate a brand-new, 80-kilowatt solarpower installation that’s expected to meet 85 percent of the town’selectricity demand.
The installation is comprised of high gain solar (HGS) arrays fromSkyline Solar, a Mountain View, California-based manufacturer and solarpower installation firm. According to the press release, the company’s HGS arrays generate up to ten times as much energy perunit of silicon compared to conventional, silicon-based solar panels.Skyline makes use of troughs and reflectors to increase the amount of sunlight hitting the solar panels.
Wonky details aside, it’s great to see a town taking this kind ofinitiative. Nipton is a great candidate for solar power: it gets tons of sunshine and has relatively modest electricity demand. And, given thetown’s proximity to protected lands, there’s of course that wholesustainability thing…
“As the gateway community to the Mojave Desert, Niptonseeks to be a good steward of the environment. Sustainability isparamount to this endeavor,” said Gerald Freeman, PrincipalAdministrator for Nipton. “It is with this in mind that we are extremely pleased to be utilizing the HGS 1000 as our primary source of energy.And the HGS upgradability is a very attractive option.”
Provided Nipton can keep a lid on energy demand — and its population — it’s likely the town will retain its claim to being the “most solartown in America” for quite some time. (As for being the most solar townin the world, however, Nipton may have some competition.)
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