Solar Energy

Provided by Solar Roadways

Roads paved with solar panels may sound futuristic, but people soon will walk and maybe even drive on them in Missouri. 

The Missouri Department of Transportation recently announced plans to build a walkway with solar panels at the historic Route 66 welcome center in Conway, Mo., which is about 180 miles southwest of St. Louis. The pilot project will examine how feasible it is to use the technology before the department considers putting it on more roads and sidewalks.

Ameren's coal-fired power plant in Labadie
Véronique LaCapra / St. Louis Public Radio

The Sierra Club is appealing to Ameren shareholders in an attempt to prompt the utility to move away from coal-based energy.

The organization has submitted a resolution to shareholders calling for at least 30-percent wind and solar sourced energy by 2030 and at least 70-percent by 2050.

(Flickr, David Goehring)

A solar power project slated for East St. Louis is waiting on the Illinois General Assembly to pass specific legislation so it can get funding to move forward.

The Solar Impulse 1 rests in its inflatable hangar at Lambert Airport after landing in St. Louis on June 4, 2013.
Véronique LaCapra | St. Louis Public Radio

Two years ago, we reported on a solar plane that touched down in St. Louis on its way across the United States.

Now it's successor is on its way around the world.

Ameren Missouri

 Updated 12/4/14

Ameren's solar energy center in O'Fallon is now in service. The 19-acre operation includes 19,000 solar panels and is currently generating six megawatts of power to the company's electrical grid.

Missouri Solar Energy Industry Association

(Updated at 10:25 p.m. on Thursday)

A report from the NAACP says Missouri should increase production of renewable power and require utilities to offer energy efficiency programs. 

Accomplishing those goals, the report says, could provide better health, cheaper utility bills and more manufacturing jobs in the state’s urban core.

(via Solar Impulse)

A solar powered airplane that landed in St. Louis last Tuesday is scheduled to depart early tomorrow morning [Friday].

This will be the 4th leg of the aircraft’s cross-continental flight.

Solar Impulse was originally scheduled to fly directly from St. Louis to Washington DC. But because of strong winds the plane will make an additional stop in Cincinnati to allow the team to rest and switch pilots.

The plane’s 12,000 solar cells power it by day while recharging batteries that allow it to fly at night.

(via Solar Impulse)

Updated 3:13 p.m. June 4  with landing   

A one-of-a-kind airplane is en route from Dallas to St. Louis Lambert International Airport. It’s an aircraft called Solar Impulse and it derives all of its power from the sun.

The plane began its cross-continental journey in early May, traveling from San Francisco to Phoenix.

It’s due to arrive in St. Louis around 1 a.m. Tuesday, and our science reporter, Véronique LaCapra, spoke with the Swiss pilot Bertrand Piccard earlier today as he was flying the plane.

Missouri Solar Energy Industry Association

The use of alternative energies such as solar and wind is not new though advancements in technology and conversations about the effects of climate change are ongoing.

Many communities, including some in the St. Louis area, are making a big commitment to going green and utilizing solar energy with the encouragement of the Environmental Protection Agency.  The Green Power Community Challenge includes Clayton and Creve Coeur.

Host Don Marsh led a discussion about the commercial and residential use of solar energy.

via Solar Impulse

St. Louis will be a pit stop for the first solar-powered flight across America. It was announced Tuesday that Lambert Airport is one of five airports selected for Solar Impulse's cross-country flight.

"We are the city forever linked to Charles Lindbergh nearly 90 years ago," St. Louis mayor Francis Slay said. "This year we recognize that there are new milestones and advances to witness, and St. Louis will be part of that inspiring story."

Missouri Solar Energy Industry Association

A state appeals court has upheld regulations implementing Missouri’s renewable energy standard.

Kevin Gunn chairs the Missouri Public Service Commission, the state regulatory agency that developed the regulations (4 CSR 240-20.100).

(via Facebook/Missouri Solar Energy Industries Association)

Missouri solar energy companies are calling for Congress to extend a federal tax grant for renewable energy.

The 1603 Treasury Program lets solar, wind, and other renewable energy developers take an existing 30 percent tax credit as a cash grant, instead.

The executive director of the Missouri Solar Energy Industries Association, Heidi Schoen, says the tax grant program has driven investment in renewable energy projects nationwide.

Missouri Solar Energy Industry Association

A Cole County judge has set aside his earlier ruling that declared solar rebates in Missouri to be unconstitutional.

The rebates were part of a renewable energy ballot initiative passed by Missouri voters in 2008.

Circuit Judge Daniel Green’s initial ruling in June stated that the $2 per-watt solar rebate was essentially a seizure of private property from St. Louis-based Ameren Missouri.  But he has temporarily vacated that ruling to allow other interested parties to file briefs in the case.

(via Flickr/Michael R. Allen)

Solar panels will soon help brighten the night a little in the Delmar Loop in St. Louis.

The Moonrise Hotel announced today that they'll be installing solar panels to power not only the illumination and rotation of the moon perched atop its building, but also operations in the Rooftop Terrace Bar.