Having a Solar Impulse

Written by: on Thursday, July, 18th, 2013

Imagine if you could book a flight from San Francisco to New York in a plane that was powered completely by the sun. Or, visualize flying in that same plane on an overnight flight using solar energy harnessed the day before.

This is no dream. A little over a week ago two pilots (one appropriately named Piccard!) did just that.  The Solar Impulse completed its final leg of a historic coast-to-coast flight that took off in California and landed in New York.  Granted, there were a few stopovers along the way, but the Solar Impulse flight has been billed as the first time that a solar-powered plane capable of flying day and night has attempted a journey across the US.

What an extraordinary advance in green technology. It is hard to ignore the increasing number of sustainable energy projects and campaigns (both solar and otherwise) that have ignited across our world, in the hopes of saving our world. Once we may have laughed at the scene of Gilligan pedaling his bike in order to generate power for the radio, but today electric vehicles and wind-powered homes are a fact of life.

With the increase in green technology comes an impact on community associations, usually in the form of architectural review requests for things like solar panels, windmills, electric vehicle charging stations, and other renewable energy devices and energy efficiency measures.  Make sure you are familiar with the requirements of HB1270, which is the Colorado energy bill that became law in 2008, and how this this impacts your association.

Also, you may want to consider the following ways to go green for your community:

  • Add programmable thermostat to clubhouse/community building
  • Replace old toilets with low-flow toilets
  • Replace weather-stripping in older buildings to keep hot & cold inside
  • Water early in the morning and use sprinklers that keep water low to the ground to minimize evaporation
  • Use LEED-certified fixtures and materials
  • Xeriscape rather than traditional turf

 

Melissa M. Garcia