Solar is cool at "Burning Man" and beyond
More and more participants in the Burning Man arts festival held in the Nevada Desert every year are turning to solar energy to meet their energy needs. And this has resulted in a major spinoff for the local communities in nearby towns. Panels are often donated to them once the festival is over.
“As impressive as Burning Man is from a creative point of view it is not entirely clean-energy friendly,” said Thomas Körner of Canadian Solar USA. “Many participants still use diesel generators but increasing awareness of the benefits of solar energy are seeing more and more participants using it to power camp sites as well as solar art projects,” he said.
One group showing the way at the festival is Snow Koan Solar, a theme camp that provides free solar charging for cell phones and other chargeable devices. As their name suggests, they also provide free snow cones to all comers. Almost everything at the festival is provided without charge because “free” is in an integral part of the Burning Man concept. Snow Koan pushes generosity further than most. They also offer free technical support to anyone who wants to wire up a solar solution on what is known as the Playa, or camping area. Another group puts a slightly different spin on generosity: Black Rock Solar is a nonprofit that rents panels to participants at $50 per panel. Once the festival is over the panels are donated to schools and other nonprofits in nearby towns.
“One can only hope that solar power will become the preferred source of energy at the festival in years to come… because one thing the Nevada is not short of is Sunshine,” said Körner.
Canadian Solar offers campers a number of solutions that can make all the difference to their Burning Man experience. These range from a small array of our CS6P-P panels (which can power a large camp site), to more individual solutions like the Andes or Maple Systems. The Andes system is portable, light-weight, and easy to set-up, making it ideal for campers, while the Maple system provides a clean and convenient LED lighting solution.