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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Take Us Forever A Whisper
Posted by Tata | 10:11 AM
Press releases almost never catch my eye, but this one did:
Envision Solar International (OTCBB:EVSI - News), a leading sustainable infrastructure product designer and developer, announced it has broken ground for the deployment of a Tracking Solar Tree® with EnvisionTrak™, Envision's proprietary tracking solution and SunCharge™, column integrated Electric Vehicle charging station, at General Motors' (NYSE: GM) Milford Proving Ground.

The patent pending, dual synchronous solar tracking system gives the array the ability to capture 25 percent more solar power than a conventional fixed solar canopy. The structure will produce up to 30,000 kilowatt hours a year and provide enough solar energy to charge six electric vehicles per day.

"Envision's Solar Tree is an ideal renewable energy solution because it gives us the ability to pull solar power from an area where traditional methods aren't feasible due to space or structural restrictions," said Rob Threlkeld, Global Manager – Renewable Energy, General Motors. "Solar Trees, deployed in parking lots, will go a long way in helping us reach our renewable energy goals and it's important to us that we use architecturally beneficial products, like the Solar Tree, whenever we are deploying in high visibility sites."

This deployment, part of a larger program, is the second Tracking Solar Tree® on GM property. In November 2011, the two companies cut the ribbon on a Solar Tree® at a GM site in Warren, Michigan.

A what?

A few weeks ago, the old man and I were tooling around on the back roads in a desperate, overgrown part of an old army base when we spied rows of these contraptions in a parking lot. We instantly knew what they must be, but what made them really interesting was that less than a quarter mile down the same cracked road lay two fields filled with row after gleaming row of solar panels. After a few clumsy web searches, I found the Solar Tree Foundation and that they're popping up all over the place where big corporations are resourceful. That General Motors, which still acts like 40 mpg is crazytalk, should make this leap is interesting; that Google uses solar trees as electric car charging stations is both genius and de rigueur.

In London and Berlin, Ross Lovegrove's solar trees illuminate streets. This is one of the more literal - and gorgeous - representations of the concept, but a web search for images of solar trees offers a startling abundance of designs and uses.

In other enviro news, that floating island of plastic water bottles in the Pacific might have a use after all.
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