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VOLUME XII  SPRING 2021

COVERING SOLAR ENERGY NEWS, BROUGHT TO YOU BY AURORA

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IN THIS ISSUE 7WHICH NEW SOLAR PANEL TECHNOLOGIES WILL REVOLUTIONIZE ENERGY PRODUCTION? A detailed look at 5 solar technologies that will have the biggest impact on the solar industry over the coming years. Author: Jagpreet Sandhu

122021 FUNDRAISING GALA INVITATION Aurora Solar Technologies invites you to be part of the 20th annual Research Fundraising Gala. A funfilled evening with cocktails, dinner, live music,and charity auction.

14HOMEOWNER STORIES Experience has consistently shown that solar spreads by word of mouth. Sharing your solar story can help inspire others to start their solar journey. Complete our simple form to share your story and photos with other prospective solar owners.

20WHAT DOES A SOLAR PANEL LOOK LIKE? Take a look at new innovations in renewable energy that make spaces not only energy efficient but pleasing to the eyes. Author: Elizabeth Monoian

24LAGI 2021 WINNERS ANNOUNCED The Melboune based architectural solar art organization names winners of this years design competition. Author: Tafline Laylin

PROUDLY SPONSORED BY

2021 LAGI winning design by NH Architcture

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FEATURED CONTRIBUTORS

AARON SUTCH

ALEXIS MILLER

Aaron has deep experience in renewable energy and energy efficiency having worked in municipal sustainability leadership, policy & advocacy, and project management. He develops and manages all Virginia solar co-op programs, provides technical support for residents and organizations going solar, and coordinates policy advocacy for distributed solar in Virginia.

Alexis supports the engagement efforts for Solar United Neighbors state programs in Virginia, West Virginia, Arizona, Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. This includes bringing together solar advocates across these states to mobilize and transform their communities. She has a Bachelors in Social Work and a Minor in sociology with an extensive background in volunteer engagement.

EMILY WOLF

GLEN BRAND

Emily has spent her career connecting people to causes they care about through volunteering. She is excited to bring this experience to Solar United Neighbors. Annie held volunteer management roles at several non-profits in the Boston area. This includes the New England Aquarium and the Trustees of Reservations. Her background is in conservation and marine mammal science.

Glen has served on the staff of several national and state environmental and labor organizations. He worked for the national Sierra Club from 1998-2010 in a variety of roles, including Director of the “Cool Cities” campaign, the organization’s first nationwide grassroots effort to advocate for local clean energy solutions. From 2012-2017, he served as Director of the Sierra Club’s Maine Chapter.

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NREL researchers have developed an interdigitated back contact solar cell design in which the metals and transport materials are 6  BEACON solution-processed by either ink jet or spray coating.


WHICH NEW SOLAR PANEL TECHNOLOGIES WILL REVOLUTIONIZE ENERGY PRODUCTION? AUTHOR: JAGPREET SANDHU | SOLARREVIEWS BLOG AUTHOR

IN THIS ARTICLE, WE TAKE A DETAILED LOOK AT 5 SOLAR TECHNOLOGIES THAT WILL HAVE THE BIGGEST IMPACT ON THE SOLAR INDUSTRY OVER THE COMING YEARS.

WHERE ARE WE HEADED?

#1 FLOATING SOLAR FARMS

When most people hear the words ‘solar power’ they instantly think of good ‘ole solar panels on rooftops or in a solar farm in the desert. And with good reason: traditional utility-scale and rooftop solar panels have dominated the solar market until this point.

Silicon panels are becoming cheaper and more efficient day-by-day. According to experts, if photovoltaic panels are placed on reservoirs and other water bodies, they offer even greater efficiency as well as a plethora of other benefits.

But there are now several exciting new solar panel technologies either in the pipeline or already on the market. These promising technologies will revolutionize the way we think about not just solar, but energy production in general. Solar no longer requires large parcels of land or roof space, nor does it need to look boring. Read on to find out more.

“Floatovoltaics” are photovoltaic solar power systems created for floating on reservoirs, dams, and other water bodies. Floating solar farms can generate huge amounts of electricity without using valuable land or real estate. The installation costs of floating photovoltaic panels are less than land-based photovoltaic panels. Also, research showed that the power production of floating solar panels is greater by up to 10% due to the cooling effect of water. Besides producing clean solar power, floating solar farms can help with water management. They reduce the loss of water to evaporation as they limit air circulation and block sunlight from the surface of the water. Also, floating solar farms prevent noxious algae production, lowering water treatment costs. Furthermore, the water beneath keeps solar panels clean and minimizes energy waste. In 2008, the first commercial 175 kWh floating panel system was installed in Californiaat the Far Niente winery in Napa Valley.

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#2 BIPV SOLAR TECHNOLOGY

#3 SOLAR SKINS

Building-integrated photovoltaics, as the name suggests, seamlessly blend into building architecture in the form of roofs, canopies, curtain walls, facades, and skylight systems. Unlike traditional solar PV panels, BIPV can be aesthetically appealing rather than a compromise to a building’s design.

Solar skins are a novel PV technology to integrate custom designs into solar panel systems. The solar skin technology is similar to the ad wraps displayed on bus windows.

Of course, aesthetics alone is not enough for solar buyers; economics matters too. The good news is that the BIPV solar panel systems enable homeowners to save on building materials and electric power costs. By substituting BIPV for standard building materials, you can cut down on the additional cost of solar panel mounting systems. BIPV technology, when used on the building’s facades, atrium, terrace floor, and canopies, provides the following benefits: • Increased energy efficiency • High thermal and sound insulation

Sistine, the manufacturer of solar skins, is testing the technology at the United States National Renewable Energy Laboratory to increase its efficiency. Solar thin-film skins maintain high efficiency due to its selective light filtration advancements. The sunlight falling on solar skins is filtered to reach the solar cells beneath it. As a result, it simultaneously displays the custom image and provides solar energy. These imprinted custom images, embedded into solar panels, can exactly match your grassy lawns or rooftops of your homes. Solar skin panels can also be beneficial for businesses or government offices. They can be customized to display business logos, business advertisements, a country’s flag, and so on.

• Clean and free power output from the sun • Decreased O&M costs • Zero carbon footprint The photovoltaic PV glasses installed as building materials act as an energy-generating device, allowing natural light inside homes and offices, just as conventional architectural glasses. Workers install BIPV panels to construction project.

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#4 SOLAR FABRIC Moreover, solar skins utilize rail-less racking systems, sit lower, have a sleek finish, and hide metal components, giving the panels a super cool look. If panel aesthetics stops you from going solar, Sistine’s SolarSkins might be the solution you are looking for.

Solar radiation is available all over the planet, so why not generate your own energy, wherever required? Imagine that besides producing solar power at a fixed location, you could also do it while on the move through your own clothing.

In addition to these benefits, Sistine Solar enables you to monitor your system performance 24/7 on your phone. It also provides you alerts in case of any issues or solar energy outages, and prescribe the right remedies at the right times.

Researchers are developing solar fabrics with a vision of including solar power in each fiber. These solar filaments can be embedded into your t-shirts, winter coats, or any other clothing to help you keep warmer, power your phone, and provide energy for other needs while you’re on the go.

However, the downside of solar skin panels is their cost, which is about 10% more than the price of traditional panels.

There are several areas where researchers have attempted to combine solar fabric and solar panels, which include: • Building facades that provide both

shade and power • Awnings that lighten up streetlights • Curtains that eliminate power consumption from the grid Solar fabricated household clothing can help you save on solar panel mounting and installation costs. Solar cell manufacturing companies are also working specifically on the US Army project with a vision to create solar-powered robotic tents. With solar costs continuously falling, it’s no more unlikely to imagine a future where almost everything will be powered by free solar, the sun.

Sistine Solar representative Anita Innergy

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#5 PHOTOVOLTAIC SOLAR NOISE BARRIERS

THE FUTURE OF SOLAR LOOKS BRIGHT

Highway traffic noise in the US has always been a concern for everyone. To overcome this issue, 48 states have built nearly 3,000 miles of traffic noise barriers. Noise barriers were always constructed with the single aim of designing cost-effective barriers that efficiently perform noise abatement functions. However, the goal of the US Department of Energy has now evolved to merge noise abatement with sustainable power generation.

Solar power was earlier generated only by means of ground-mounted or rooftop panels. But thanks to all the advancements mentioned above, solar is set to become lighter, more flexible, and applicable everywhere.

Given the widespread use of noise barriers in the US, the potential of producing solar energy from these is likely to be around 400 gigawatt hours (GWh) annually. This is approximately equal to the annual electricity usage of 37,000 homes.

Imagine all this tech is available and you visit another city. You can buy food at a solar-powered food cart, eat it while traveling on a solar-powered highway, and charge your phone from your solarpowered clothes. This is what the near future looks like! And there are actually lots of other innovative residential solar technologies in development or currently being rolled out in 2020. Perhaps the most promising new tech is Perovskite solar cells, which could soon be used to create solar paint. Keep yourself updated on new developments in solar by following our blog.

SOLARREVIEW.COM/BLOG

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jagpreet is a specialist in digital communication and creative writing. During her career, she has produced a wide range of content including blogs, articles, case studies, brochures, user manuals, and other creative assets. She has a keen interest in solar and envisions a bright future where all our energy comes from renewable resources. 10  BEACON


NREL Thermochemical Process/ Control Engineer and Research Technician in the Field Test Laboratory Building.

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2021 RESEARCH FUNDRAISING

GALA

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FEATURING SPECIAL PERFORMANCES BY

&

NEIL YOUNG CELINE DION

GET YOUR TICKETS! Aurora Solar Technologies invites you to be part of the 20th annual Research Fundraising Gala. A funfilled evening with cocktails, dinner, live music, and charity auction. All proceeds are donated by the Aurora Research division to local and national solar research centers and individuals in the form of grants to continue their astounding work.

AUGUST 14TH FROM 5-11 PM At the Waterview Special Event Space

TICKETS $45 AHEAD – $50 AT THE DOOR VISIT OR CALL TO ORDER TICKETS WWW.AURORASOLAR.CA 604-443-7440 The OPUS Vancouver Hotel is offering special room rates for guests attending the fundraiser. Visit Vancouver.opushotel.com or call 604-642-6787 for room inquiries SPRING 2020 13


HOMEOWNER STORIES EXPERIENCE HAS CONSISTENTLY SHOWN THAT SOLAR SPREADS BY WORD OF MOUTH. SHARING YOUR SOLAR STORY CAN HELP INSPIRE OTHERS TO START THEIR SOLAR JOURNEY. COMPLETE OUR SIMPLE FORM TO SHARE YOUR STORY AND PHOTOS WITH OTHER PROSPECTIVE SOLAR OWNERS.

MARY Portage County Solar Co-op, Kent, OH System size: 15.12 kW

QWhat interested you about going solar initially? Why do you support solar?

AOn principle, I have understood the importance of creating a sustainable environment for the past forty years. Today I work at Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio as a grant writer. When I first arrived there six years ago, we began writing proposals for a project sponsored by the College entitled, The Oberlin Project. The overarching aim of The Oberlin Project was to create a city and campus based on full spectrum sustainability by the year 2030. We researched funding sources and wrote proposals for a variety of environmental sustainability projects including improving the energy efficiency of the older homes in the city of Oberlin, starting a food hub and creating a device entitled Environmental Dashboard that measures the resource use (water and electricity) in individual buildings and cities. While working on these projects, I met people who had solar panels on their homes purchased with the discount from the Lorain County Solar Co-op, the first co-op in the state of Ohio. They informed me how to start a co-op by contacting Solar United Neighbors (SUN) and they called SUN to tell them that I was interested in starting a co-op and would call them soon. I contacted my friend who was on the Kent City Council and ask her if she would partner with me to start the Portage County Co-op. We agreed that we would advertise the SUN presentation not just to private homeowners but also for city officials who may be interested in sourcing some of their city’s energy needs with solar. I contacted SUN 14  BEACON

and arranged to have the first presentation at the public library in December 2018. Residents and city leaders from many of the surrounding towns attended and the crowd at the first meeting was standing room only. We had 48 individuals sign up for the Portage County Co-op. I volunteered to participate in the small group of individuals who choose the vendor and we met in my home. We chose the Appalachian Renewable Power (ARP) vendor from southern Ohio because of their previous installation experience and their warranty. My solar installation was scheduled for December 2019. ARP completed the installation in two days and on the second day they worked into the night in 15 degree weather.


QDo you have any data on your solar system’s performance? What electricity savings have you seen since going solar? AFor the first two and a half months, I saved approximately $500 on my energy bill. Now that we are moving into spring, I expect that I will generate enough solar power to have almost no utility bill (my house is all electric). Also, I just finished my taxes and will be able to pay 25% of my solar panel bill with my refund.

QHas anything surprised you about going solar? AI found that the process of going solar took time and research on my part. I had very little knowledge of electricity generation prior to my solar project. I was nervous that I was making a big mistake. Fortunately, everyone involved in the process was willing to explain.

QWhy did you choose to go solar with Solar United Neighbors?

AI believe that this decision was a very positive one for me in spite of the extra time and effort that it took to start the co-op and learn enough to decide what type of solar array to purchase. I could never have accomplished these goals without the aid of SUN and I tell everyone who is interested in my array about the importance of SUN’s role in the process.

TELL YOUR STORY SEND IN A PHOTO OF YOUR NEWLY INSTALLED SOLAR PANELS AND TELL US ABOUT EVERYTHING. THE PROCESS, THE RESULTS, ANYTHING! Experience has consistently shown that solar spreads by word of mouth. Sharing your solar story can help inspire others to start their solar journey. Complete our simple form to share your story and photos with other prospective solar owners. On the reverse side of this form fill in the information. All personal info like street address, email, and phone number will not be given out. On a separate paper, answer any of the listed questions you are passionate about. Optional: Take a photo with a “We Went Solar” sign to include with your story!

RECOMMENDED QUESTIONS • Why did you decide to go solar? • Did anything surprise you about going

I COULD NEVER HAVE ACCOMPLISHED THESE GOALS WITHOUT THE AID OF AURORA

solar? • What benefits did you experience going solar with a co-op? • Do you have any data about your solar system performance? What electricity savings have you seen since going solar? • Why do you support solar energy? • Do you have any data on your solar system’s performance? • What electricity savings have you seen since going solar? • Why did you choose to go solar with Aurora? • Anything else you’d like to add?


SHELLY & GORDON East Valley Solar Co-op, Mesa, AZ System size: 5.85 kW

Email Address

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Last Name

ZIP

QWhy did you decide to go solar? AFor me it was a no brainer. I’m a strong proponent of renewable energy especially living in the sunniest state in the nation. I attend Sierra Club Energy Committee meetings and even show up now and then at the Arizona Corporation Commission to make my feelings known. The challenge was convincing my husband, in view of the added costs to our monthly nut. But then we learned that, with the added cost of financing the solar panels and SRP’s additional charges, our utility bill would still be less than what we were currently paying SRP. So investing in solar became a no brainer for Gordon too!

QDid anything surprise you about solar? AThat we’re not just installing solar panels. The side of our house looks like a small substation! There is a lot of technology behind the scenes monitoring usage, high demand appliances, etc. There are a lot of moving parts working together to help us lower our carbon footprint.

QWhat benefits did you experience going solar with a co-op?

AA friend of mine turned me on to Aurora. I liked the fact that Aurora allowed me to seek information and get educated without obligation or pressure. It’s a very cool concept!

Phone Number

Street Address

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QDo you have any data about your solar system performance? What electricity savings have you seen since solar? AWe received our first bill in late February and it was a few dollars less that our typical SRP bill for this period. But we are paying much more attention to limiting our heavy appliance usage during peak demand periods. So it has raised our awareness. The true cost savings picture will come in the summer when we run our air conditioner on each floor of our 2-story house.


I LIKED THE FACT THAT AURORA ALLOWED ME TO SEEK INFORMATION AND GET EDUCATED WITHOUT OBLIGATION OR PRESSURE

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BARB East Valley Solar Co-op, Mesa, AZ System size: 5.85 kW

QWhy did you decide to go solar? AI decided to go solar for several reasons.

I have always been intrigued by the concept of solar, but it was just too expensive before. The main reason to put solar on my home is due to my desire to join the renewable energy movement. Secondly, I was drawn in by the success of the Indiana County Co-op and felt that the timing was just right when I realized there was a 30% tax credit. And finally, I am hoping to retire in about 3 years, so investing in solar was like pre-paying my electric bill to reduce the utility burden and making retirement possible.

QDid anything surprise you about going solar? AThe only thing surprising to me was how easy the process was, and how quick it went.

QDo you have any data about your solar system performance? What electricity savings have you seen since going solar? A My system has only been functioning for about 5 weeks, but I have already had 4 days where I have produced more than my average daily usage. I have not had a day without some level of production, even after a 5” snow storm on February 7th.

QWhat advice would you give to someone considering going solar?

AGo to as many informational sessions that you can and just keep asking questions. Also, talk to someone who has installed solar.

QAnything else you’d like to add? AI can’t wait to see how my system works once we get into the summer months!

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SUE & STEVE East Valley Solar Co-op, Tempe, AZ System size: 4.875 kW

QWhy did you decide to go solar? AWe have always wanted to have solar panels, knowing solar energy is logical in our desert environment. We knew climate change is a real and urgent problem and we will only fix it by doing everything we can. We finally had the resources to invest and knew we were going to stay in this house for ten years or more. We had to replace our roof this year and the solar co-op gave us the incentive to do it all at once.

QDid anything surprise you about going solar? AThere was more paperwork and it took longer than we expected. Shade trees can be a problem and I was glad that ours is not so big or full to affect the area where they put the panels. It didn’t take a large number of panels to create a significant amount of power. We were disappointed that battery storage technology isn’t advanced enough or cost effective enough for us yet. We are planning for an electric car next, and are watching technological developments. Working with the co-op was much less stressful than going on our own.

WE WISH WE HAD INSTALLED SOLAR PANELS MANY YEARS AGO QWhat benefits did you experience going solar with a co-op?

AI didn’t want the lengthy burden of searching for reliable companies and analyzing the pros and cons of each, and feeling nervous that they would go under and we’d be stuck. We liked the shared risk of being with other buyers. We felt the cost was reasonable and they worked with our roofing company.

QDo you have any data about your solar system performance? What electricity savings have you seen since going solar? AOur bill was 40% less in the first month. We can go online to track the performance and it’s impressive to see how much power we generate.

QWhat advice would you give to someone considering going solar?

ADon’t procrastinate, use a co-op, talk to your friends and neighbors. We wish we had installed solar panels many years ago. It helps to talk to people who have recently installed solar in your area as the utility companies are actively changing the rules, and the tax refunds are different city by city. Be prepared to trim trees to eliminate shade. We hired a tree trimmer to adjust our large Palo Verde tree, so it looks good without casting shade on the panels. Some will express negativity about solar, they say it’s expensive, or hear horror stories about companies that go under. Be prepared to pay fully, or finance, don’t lease. The energy savings are showing every month, and they add up. SPRING 2020 19


WHAT DOES A SOLAR PANEL LOOK LIKE? AUTHOR: ELIZABETH MONOIAN | LAND ART GENERATOR DIRECTOR

This is a question that we have been thinking a lot about since we founded the Land Art Generator Initiative in 2008 and launched the first LAGI design competition in 2010. At that time there were already a range of interesting technologies being developed and coming to market, including colorful organic photovoltaic thin films, dye-sensitized solar cells, and innovations like Sphelar™. We included some of these in our first Field Guide to Renewable Energy Technologies in order to get the word out to designers, artists, architects, landscape architects, and other creatives. The goal of the Land Art Generator continues to be getting people to consider renewable energy as a medium for creative expression in civic spaces and destination landscapes. Over the past decade there have been a number of fascinating developments in solar module technology, lamination glass, and special films. Below is a list of some of the products that are out on the market today. Any of these can be excellent media for art in public places—making our cities more beautiful as we make them more sustainable. All images are courtesy of the website linked to for each unless otherwise noted. Kromatix™ by SwissINSO is a custom color-treated glass face laminate that is applied during the solar module production process. It can be applied over pretty much any kind of photovoltaic panels (PV) or over flat solar thermal modules. The technology is a highly efficient and environmentally friendly nanotechnology surface treatments for a kind of structural color in grey, blue, blue-green, orange, bronze, and brass. Because it is integrated into the module glass Kromatix™ is laminated at the panel manufacturer’s factory, not in the field. 20  BEACON

Invent uses their InvisibleCell® technology that hides the busbars, gaps, and electrical finger connections that appear silver/white on a standard PV module behind an all-black face laminate. With small variations in the pattern of the glass, they are able to create greyscale patterns of any kind. Panels can work together to create larger compositions. Solaxess allows any exterior building surface to be a solar power generator. All of the white finish panels that you see in the photograph above are generating electricity from standard solar panels concealed behind the custom Solaxess laminate. Kaleo in Neuchâtel, Switzerland has a version of a printed film that is applied to the face of a solar module. The glossy finish is great for photographs with a look very similar to a C-print on transparency film. The solar module making electricity behind is completely invisible, obscured by the beauty of the artwork. Tesla Solar Roof tiles use a series of small “louvers” within the top encapsulant layer of laminated glass that obscure the inner workings of the solar module when viewed from the range of angles one might normally expect to have to a rooftop from the street. Meanwhile, the angle that the sun hits the tiles normally throughout the day has an unobstructed path to the solar cells. This is kind of like the way a lenticular image works to show one graphic when viewed from a certain angle and another graphic when viewed from a different angle. You can learn more in Tesla’s patent application. Ever since this product was announced, we at LAGI have been curious to see what an artist might do with this product when set free from the confines of a pitched roof.


SwissINSO treated glass applied during the solar module production process.

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Sistine Solar makes a film—SolarSkin—onto which any graphic image can be printed. The special film allows almost all of the light through to the solar cells to generate electricity. The product was developed at MIT by the company’s founders, and has been marketed as a way to disguise solar panels on rooftops by printing a full-scale image of the surrounding roof shingle pattern, color, and texture. But the technology allows you to print literally anything, not just roof shingles. For example, we specified Sistine Solar on the world’s first Solar Mural installation, which was installed in San Antonio in 2017. The La Monarca image was designed by San Antonio artist Cruz Ortiz with creative direction by Penelope Boyer. You can read more about La Monarca and the LAGI Solar Mural program at solarmural.com.

ClearVeu 70% clear solar panel

Sistine solar graphic printing film on solar panels

While it comes with a 25-year warranty, the Sistine Solar SolarSkin can also be exchanged in the field, so if an artwork that uses the film would like to change at some point in the future that is possible, without replacing the solar modules themselves. As with many of the surface applications listed in this article, there is a small trade-off on electrical conversion efficiency with this product of about 2%, so a solar module that would normally be 20% under ideal conditions will operate at 18% under the same conditions—a very small price to pay for the versatility and beauty of this option! Dutch Solar Design Photovoltaics is another applied film that can be printed with any image. They specialize in building textures that make the solar modules disappear into the building facade. See the link to their site for photographs. ClearVue is a fascinating technology that results in a 70%+ clear glass pane that generates electricity by channeling the right wavelengths of light to the edges of the module where the PV cells are located. If you know of any other products out there, please send us an email at lagi@landartgenerator.org and let us know about them! 22  BEACON


SwissINSO treated glass applied during the solar module production process.

ANY OF THESE CAN MAKE OUR CITIES MORE BEAUTIFUL AS WE MAKE THEM MORE SUSTAINABLE

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Elizabeth Monoian (MFA Carnegie Mellon University) is the founding co-director of the Land Art Generator, an organization that is developing global partnerships between private and public entities around interdisciplinary projects that address issues of climate and sustainability through the lens of creativity. She works closely with cities, universities, corporations, arts organizations, and community

groups to design customized approaches to renewable energy installations. Elizabeth has published, exhibited, and presented globally on the aesthetics of renewable energy and the role of art in providing solutions to climate change. Under her leadership, Land Art Generator has received multiple National Endowment for the Arts grants and has been awarded the J.M.K. Innovation Prize, a program of the J.M. Kaplan Fund. SPRING 2020 23


LAGI 2020 WINNERS ANNOUNCED AUTHOR: TAFLINE LAYLIN | TRAVEL JOURNALIST Sponsored by the State of Victoria as part of their Renewable Energy Action Plan, the competition calls for large-scale works of public art that also produce clean energy. LAGI competitions, which are held in cities around the world, present a positive vision of a sustainable future and increase the popularity of a swift transition to renewable and carbon-free forms of energy. “We’re making Victoria the capital of renewable energy, so what better place to host and sponsor the 2018 LAGI Awards,” says Victorian Minister for Energy, Environment, and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio. “Congratulations to all contestants as they demonstrate how renewable energy brings benefits to the local community.” The first-place winning design is a perfect example of this new socially-relevant approach to clean energy infrastructure. NH Architecture’sLight Up incorporates solar, wind, and microbial fuel cell technologies to produce 2,220 MWh of clean energy annually for St Kilda in the City of Port Phillip, or enough to power nearly 500 Australian homes.

2021 LAGI winning design by NH Architcture

Second place went to Seattle’s Olson Kundig for Night & Day, a Hydro-Solar Generator that combines solar energy with a hydro battery to produce 1,000 MWh annually for St Kilda in the

2021 LAGI second place design by Olson Kundig

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City of Port Phillip. Their land art generator artwork is capable of operating 24 hours a day. That two such highly-acclaimed firms—selected by an anonymous jury—are this year’s winners suggests to LAGI co-founders Elizabeth Monoian and Robert Ferry that the tide is shifting within the established design community to support a strongly integrated approach to the design of a post-carbon future, where the lines are blurring between the old silos of art, design, applied sciences, architecture, landscape architecture, and civil engineering. “LAGI 2018 is a window onto a world that has moved beyond fossil fuels—a world that celebrates living in harmony with nature by creating engaging public places that integrate renewable energy and energy storage artfully within the urban landscape,” they said. “Light Up and Night & Day are power plants where you can take your family for a picnic. They both show how beauty and clean energy can come together to create the sustainable and resilient infrastructure of the future city. These artworks are cultural landmarks for the great energy transition that will be visited by generations in the future to remember this important time in human history.”

2021 LAGI honorable mention by Lu Chao and Weng Shenxia

Third place mention goes to Swings by Lu Chao 陆超 and Weng Shenxia 翁申霞. Using thinfilm photovoltaic and kinetic wind harvesting technologies, the design is capable of powering up to 240 homes. Thanks to the State’s support, the Light Up team will receive $16,000 in prize money, and second place will receive $5,000. Another 23 teams were shortlisted. While there is no guarantee that an outcome of LAGI 2018 will be constructed at St Kilda Triangle, public support for the project may lead to its incorporation as a part of the larger codesign process currently underway for the site.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Tafline Laylin is a freelance journalist and editor who divides her time between Africa, the Middle East and the United States. Since graduating with a B.A. from Northern Arizona University, she has traveled the world confronting topics at the intersection of environmental and social justice for a wide range of international publications, including The Guardian, The Atlantic, OZY, and the Ecologist. SPRING 2020 25


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