Solar Panel Sense

I have been struggling with the visual impact that alternative energy sources have on the landscape.  I’m conflicted.  I know we need to seriously decrease our dependence on fossil fuels, but often the windmill and solar farms that are increasingly visible…mar the vistas and take up valuable open space that to me is just as valuable as the energy they create.

So there I was, driving (those fossil fuels again) by a local corporate park and Voila! a thoughtful solution that’s a win-win for solar panel installation.  Solar panels are being installed  in the parking lot creating energy for use, shade and shelter for the cars beneath them. They’re being built in every island in a parking lot on land that’s already been paved over…not green space.  They even look good in a retro kind of car park way.

Solar panels installed in a parking lot

3 thoughts on “Solar Panel Sense

  1. A couple of years ago driving in northern Spain we were blown away by the elegant beauty of the windmills perched like rows of tall lindens along the mountaintop ridge lines. In the past I had always opposed ridge line development but seeing them & understanding their role in the larger environment made me rethink that posture. Outside of Antarctica there is likely no landscape on the planet we have not already dramatically altered. If we are thoughtful about it, considering the effects beyond the needs of one property “owner”, to those of everyone impacted by the landscape and its use, we can add these alternative energy technologies to our landscape without retaining the conceit that we currently live with, that we are somehow separate from the landscape. There is no such thing as wilderness and there has not been for millenia. We’ve already reshaped it many times over. This time around let’s do it with some consideration and thought.

  2. I work with a very progressive eco conscience real estate developer and property manager who owns a fairly large apartment complex in N. CA. He covered the entire carport parking area with solar panels 10 -15 years ago before it was popular. ( We actually took off an old system and replaced it with a current system )
    This guy walks the walk and also retrofitted his own home with solar panels , grows a fair amount of fruit and veggies at his house and donates a fair share of his time and money to philanthropic societies.
    I love working with this man and his family because they are always full of great ideas and open minded .

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