Remember when The Jetsons gave us the picture of a future with flying cars? Or, how about the hoverboards we all thought would be buzzing around by now from Back to the Future? Though those dreams may remain light years away, the future meets the present with the evolution of solar energy. One example soaring into the public consciousness – the Solar Impulse project – is pushing for the sustainable evolution of air travel.
The brainchild of Swiss explorers Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg, Solar Impulse is the first aircraft attempting to travel around the world dependent on solar power alone. The plane’s journey started in March in Abu Dhabi and can be followed at https://solarimpulse.com. The plane’s magnificent journey shows us the endless possibilities of renewable energy. With the potential success of circumnavigating the globe in this manner, solar energy holds promise for the aircraft industry as a whole.
So what does this mean for the bottom line for aircraft companies and other businesses? In addition to saving on fuel powering current modes of transportation, solar power saves on a variety of energy costs and allows businesses to go from just talking about sustainability to putting environmentally friendly plans in action.
The federal government has also taken notice of the benefits of alternative energies. On June 16, President Obama announced more than $4 billion in private sector commitments and executive actions to promote increased movement on innovation in clean energy. The Obama administration also announced an executive action to improve financing options from the U.S. Small Business Administration for private investment funds to support clean energy technology.
In addition, in the Solar Energy Industries Association’s latest Solar Means Business Report, the top 25 companies using solar power in the United States generated enough electricity to power more than 115,000 homes for an entire year. That saves businesses countless operational dollars, which are passed along to the customer. The embracing of energy by the government and both large and small businesses is a signifier that solar, wind and other alternative energies are becoming a major economic driver and will be a key factor in the success of businesses around the country.
At WestStar Precision, we’re harnessing solar power to drive our production process at our facility in Apex, North Carolina, since 2014. The 480-volt solar panels on our facility roof drastically reduce our annual energy usage, shrinking our carbon footprint and allowing us to deliver more cost effective solutions to our customers.
While Solar Impulse is changing the way planes are fueled, Weststar Precision is changing the way they are built. WestStar’s new manufacturing plant looks like most any office building in the RTP area, but what’s inside and what’s on top of that building is the key to bringing the future to life today.
These are just a few examples of how alternative energies are shaping the way businesses operate today and in the future. A more streamlined bottom line means that savings get passed on to you, the customer. With the evolution of solar and other emerging energies, what previously only existed on television and in movies is closer to becoming a reality