A growing use of the latest computing technologies – drones, robots, software, sensors and networks – by US companies to design, build and operate solar farms. After seeing the prices of solar panels drop dramatically over the past decade, companies are looking for new ways to cut costs and compete with fossil fuel power through project design. Cutting down the amount of land used by solar farms has additional benefits, particularly in places like California. It minimizes environmental impact, an issue that can be controversial for large projects built for utilities because they tend to spread across hundreds of acres of land in remote regions. Some of these projects have riled environmentalists, attracted lawsuits and forced solar companies, including SunPower, to commit money for land for wildlife conservation.
Guardian 26th Feb 2017 read more »