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Greenest County Fair on Earth Boasts Solar Powered Carousel

Posted By Mike Chino On July 8, 2009 @ 4:30 pm In Green Design Events,Renewable Energy,San Francisco | 4 Comments

Ferris wheel and solar powered carousel [1]

Few events capture the sun-soaked glory of summer better than a county fair, and when the whirling lights and sounds are powered by clean green energy, what’s not to love? Sponsored in part by PG&E [2], this year’s Marin County Fair [3] was host to a dazzling array of green innovations ranging from an amazing solar-powered carousel [4] to an all-electric auto show [5] to a sound stage juiced by the sun’s rays [6]. On a recent blue sky summer day I took a trip across the golden gate bridge to check out the “Greenest County Fair On Earth” – read on for the full report!

Renewable energy provided by PG&E

Upon entering the Marin County Fair [3] I was immediately greeted with a flourish of green gestures. Ringing the entryway, a water-efficient edible garden [7] sprouted stalks of ruby red chard, while twin towering solar panels crowned with wind turbines rose up from the fairway. These solar panels were scattered all throughout the fair, providing power to exhibits and supplementing the massive photovoltaic array that provides 40% of the fairgrounds’ annual power usage. A ride aboard the ferris wheel [8] afforded a stellar birds-eye view [9] of the grounds, where I caught a glimpse of the fair’s shining solar power source.

The Electric Wheels Auto Show

One of the highlights of the fair was the Electric Wheels Car Show [10], which showcased a cutting-edge collection of green vehicles ranging from a Tesla Roadster [11] to UC Berkeley’s solar powered race car [12] to several [13] gorgeous classic cars [14] updated with all-electric transmissions by Electric Marin Wheels [15]. A portable solar array [16] provided a steady stream of energy to all of the vehicles on display, ensuring that their entire power cycle was truly zero emissions.

Solar powered carousel by PG&E

Another main attraction at the Marin County Fair [3] was a solar-powered carousel. This classic amusement ride has been retrofitted with a stunning LED light display [17] and features 18 horses and a chariot. Nearby a giant solar array soaked up enough energy to run the carousel well into the night [18]. What better way to impress kids with the power of renewable energy?

PG&E's booth at the Marin County Fair

PG&E [2]‘s booth provided a wealth of information on their clean energy initiatives including ClimateSmart [19], CARE [20], and their residential rebate [21] programs. Kiosks in the booth featured a carbon calculator game that encouraged fairgoers to enter in lifestyle choices such as the number of plane flights they took and the amount of miles the drove, and then presented them with a carbon footprint analysis. They also turned me on to California Youth Energy Services [22], a non-profit that employs youth to provide free “green house calls” (complete with services and products like CFL’s) to ensure that your home is operating at its highest level of efficiency.

Solar sound stage powered by PG&E

As the day wound to a close the sounds of Creedence [23] filled the air as the fair’s solar stage leapt to life. The rocking sound system and LED stage lighting drew all of its energy from a 6kw solar array, providing the perfect power source for blistering guitar solos. Finally, a fantastic display of fireworks [24] capped off a spectacular summer day.

+ Marin County Fair [3]

+ Marin County Fair Photo Gallery [25]

+ PG&E [2]

All photos by Mike Chino [26]

Fireworks at the Marin County Fair

Fireworks at the Marin County Fair [2]


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URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/greenest-county-fair-on-earth-boasts-first-solar-powered-carousel/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.inhabitat.com/?p=38056

[2] PG&E: http://www.pge.com/myhome/saveenergymoney/solarenergy/

[3] Marin County Fair: http://www.marinfair.org/

[4] solar-powered carousel: http://www.inhabitat.com/?attachment_id=38067

[5] all-electric auto show: http://www.inhabitat.com/?attachment_id=38061

[6] sound stage juiced by the sun’s rays: http://www.inhabitat.com/?attachment_id=38071

[7] edible garden: http://www.inhabitat.com/?attachment_id=38060

[8] ferris wheel: http://www.inhabitat.com/2009/07/08/greenest-county-fair-on-earth-boasts-first-solar-powered-carousel/ferris-wheel-night/

[9] birds-eye view: http://www.inhabitat.com/?attachment_id=38062

[10] Electric Wheels Car Show: http://www.marinfair.org/car_expo.cfm

[11] Tesla Roadster: http://www.inhabitat.com/wp-content/plugins/falbum/wp/album.php?album=72157620874108902&page=1&photo=3682252477

[12] solar powered race car: http://www.inhabitat.com/2009/07/07/solar-bullet-uc-berkeleys-gold-rush-racer/

[13] several: http://www.inhabitat.com/wp-content/plugins/falbum/wp/album.php?album=72157620874108902&page=1&photo=3683065878

[14] classic cars: http://www.inhabitat.com/wp-content/plugins/falbum/wp/album.php?album=72157620874108902&page=1&photo=3682252631

[15] Electric Marin Wheels: http://www.electricmarinwheels.com/EMW/Home.html

[16] portable solar array: http://www.inhabitat.com/?attachment_id=38076

[17] LED light display: http://www.inhabitat.com/?attachment_id=38059

[18] well into the night: http://www.inhabitat.com/wp-content/plugins/falbum/wp/album.php?album=72157620874108902&page=1&photo=3683065076

[19] ClimateSmart: http://www.joinclimatesmart.com/

[20] CARE: http://www.pge.com/care/

[21] residential rebate: http://www.pge.com/rebates/

[22] California Youth Energy Services: http://www.risingsunenergy.org/cyes.htm

[23] Creedence: http://www.creedence-revisited.com/

[24] fireworks: http://www.inhabitat.com/2009/07/03/eco-friendly-fireworks-for-4th-of-july/

[25] + Marin County Fair Photo Gallery: http://www.inhabitat.com/wp-content/plugins/falbum/wp/album.php?album=72157620874108902

[26] Mike Chino: http://flickr.com/mikechino

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