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  • Writer's pictureCutler Bay Solar

7 Famous Landmarks That Run on Solar Energy

From towering structures to ancient monuments, solar energy has become a popular choice for powering some of the world's most famous landmarks. Not only does it provide a sustainable and cost-effective source of energy, but it also adds an innovative touch to these iconic sites. Here's 7 famous landmarks from around the globe that are leading the way toward a brighter future.

1. Alcatraz Prison - California

In 1963, Alcatraz became the first federal prison to install solar panels. The panels were used to power the prison’s laundry and kitchen facilities. Today, the prison is powered by a 1.1-megawatt solar array that generates enough energy to offset nearly 30% of the facility’s electricity use. The solar panels connect to a battery bank and power inverters that help power the island instead of relying solely on diesel generators.

2. Burj Khalifa - Dubai

The Burj Khalifa in Dubai is the world's tallest building, and it runs on solar power. The building has a solar farm on its roof that generates enough power to heat 140,000 litres of water every day, which will be distributed to homes and businesses within the tower. The solar farm is made up of over 4,000 panels, and it produces enough power to offset the carbon emissions of the building by 1,000 tons per year.

3. Eiffel Tower - Paris

As one of the most iconic landmarks in the world, it's no surprise that the Eiffel Tower utilizes solar power. Solar panels were installed on the tower back in 2013, and since then, they've been providing enough energy to power the tower's lights. That means that every night, when the tower is lit up, you can give credit to the sun.

The Eiffel Tower's solar energy system is made up of over 9,000 square feet of PV panels. These panels are placed on the roof of the second-floor restaurant, as well as two different levels of the tower. Together with wind turbines, they produce enough energy to power the structure. The system also includes battery storage, which allows the tower to store the energy for later use.

The Eiffel Tower's switch to solar power has helped reduce its carbon footprint and decrease its energy costs.

4. Kaohsiung National Stadium - Taiwan

Kaohsiung National Stadium, located in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, is one of the world's largest stadiums. It was originally built for the World Games in 2009 and can accommodate up to 80,000 spectators.

The stadium is powered by a 1.5 MW solar system, making it the largest solar-powered stadium in the world. The system is composed of 4,500 solar panels and produces enough electricity to power the stadium's lighting and air conditioning during daytime hours.

This solar system has offset over 1,600 tons of carbon dioxide emissions since it was installed in 2009 which is equivalent to planting 38,000 trees.

In addition to being powered by solar energy, the stadium also features a rainwater harvesting system that recycles rainwater for use in the bathrooms and landscaping.

5. Vatican City - Europe

The Vatican City is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, and it is also one of the most solar-powered landmarks. Back in 2008 the solar panels were donated by SolarWorld, based in Bonn, Germany.

The city has a pv solar power plant that supplies around 50% of its electricity needs.

6. Yellowstone National Park - United States

Yellowstone National Park is one of the most famous landmarks in the United States, and it runs on solar power. The park has a 1.5-megawatt solar array that provides 10% of the park’s electricity needs. In addition, the park has several hundred solar-powered lights that illuminate roads and walkways at night. This isn't the only National Park in the US running on solar energy though, there's a pretty impressive list of installs including:

  • Grand Canyon National Park

  • Mount Rushmore National Memorial

  • Death Valley National Park

  • Rocky Mountain National Park

  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park

  • Yosemite National Park

  • Everglades National Park

  • Natural Bridges National Monument

  • Mammoth Cave National Park

  • Denali National Park

7. White House - United States

The White House is one of the most famous landmarks in the world and it runs on solar power. In 1979, President Jimmy Carter installed the first solar panels on the roof of the West Wing, generating carbon-free electricity. They didn't last long before they were taken down in 1981.

In 2003, during the administration of George W. Bush, a 9-kilowatt solar system was installed on the roof of the grounds maintenance building. He also installed two solar systems for heating water for the pool and spa, as well as other needs.

Finally in 2014, under the Obama administration, solar panels were put back on the roof where they still live today turning sunshine into power.

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