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Small California town to be 85% powered by solar

June 10, 2010 |  5:01 am


In a town of just 38 people, it doesn’t take much power to keep the lights on.

Which is why many smaller towns, with their vast swaths of land, are turning to renewable energy. There’s Rock Port, Mo., a community of about 1,400 people that has all of the roughly 13 million kilowatts it uses a year generated by wind turbines. And 10 turbines will power all the homes and more in Greensburg, Kan., after a tornado demolished 95% of the town in 2007.

Now, on the edge of the Mojave Desert, the town of Nipton is gleaning most of its electricity from a new 80-kilowatt solar installation from Skyline Solar Inc. The number of people in the town occasionally balloons up to 250 people during tourism-heavy seasons.

The Mountain View-based company took six weeks to set up the system, which is made of monocrystalline cells and is expected to provide roughly 85% of the town’s energy needs. Skyline wouldn’t say how much the installation cost, but said that it is already up and running.

The plant is the first commercial installation of Skyline's new High Gain Solar 1000 system.

-- Tiffany Hsu

Photo credit: Skyline Solar Inc.