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Sanyo’s Solar Ark

It is amazing what can be constructed from material that was to be thrown away. That is what occured with Sanyo who aimed to make the largest PV system in the world, a 3.4 MW installation, in order to mark its 50th anniversary.

The Ark is an impressive 630 kW solar-collecting building that has over 5,000 solar panels and produces over 500,000 kWh of energy per year. Not just that, but all over the Solar Ark’s 1,033ft exterior are over 75,000 colored LEDs that can light up to create images and messages. Inside the Ark is a solar museum and laboratory where Sanyo are working on the next generation of solar technology.

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China’s Solar Powered Office Complex

The Japanese are not the only one who are fans of solar technology — the Chinese are too. With the country now the world leader in solar cells, it is no surprise to learn they also have the “largest solar-powered office building in the world“.

Located in northwest China, the 75,000 sq m fan-shaped structure is a multi-use building and boasts exhibition centers, scientific research facilities, meeting rooms, and a hotel — all of which are solar powered.

The ''beautiful building'' was designed to “underline the urgency of seeking renewable energy sources to replace fossil fuels.” Its sun-dial influenced structure enables it to save 30% more energy than the national standard.

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The Vatican

Solar power must be the future if the Catholic Church is getting on board with it. In fact, the Vatican is so into alternative energy, the city has the largest solar power plant in Europe. (mmm and the Ukraine, see other Blog enrty, we have a pretty large set up at Caplor.....)

Although it is the smallest country in the world, the Vatican has spent $660 million to build a massive 100MW photovoltaic installation. The output will be more than enough to provide enough power for the whole country.

The main installation is located on a 740 acre site near Santa Maria di Galeria and has seen solar powers placed all over the city.



And on the go now -

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The Desertec Initiative

The Desertec Industrial Initiative is the largest solar project in the world (any one else know of bigger ?).

The US$550 billion plan aims to develop “a reliable, sustainable and climate-friendly energy supply” in North Africa’s Sahara desert that will be capable of providing the entire MENA region with energy as well as Europe.

When the project was first announced in July 2009, it sounded a bit like science-fiction and was dismissed as being “unrealistic” and even exploitative. However, once it was noted that the project could provide 15 percent of Europe’s electricity by 2050, people began to sit up and listen.

Currently Desertec’s first solar power plant is under construction. The $822 million Moroccan power plant will be a 150-megawatt, 7.4 square mile solar plant and is the first step in the major 500MW super project.