Solar, solar everywhere and not just where you’d think

We've heard of various solar power projects and devices, but here are two especially interesting ones where you probably wouldn't expect them: a Christmas tree lot and the Vatican.

California-based Stellar Solar is providing its Mobile Solar Station to power three San Diego Purdy Farms Christmas tree lots. The mobile station will power the CFL (compact florescent light) bulbs on the perimeter of the lot and the electric chain saws used to trim trees for customers. The company says it’s the first known use of solar to power a Christmas tree lot and certainly the first in San Diego.

The Vatican is also seeing value in using energy from the sun. It has installed a solar cooling plant above the cafeteria, in addition to the 2,000 panels installed on the Paul VI Audience Hall in 2008. It has even released a book called "The Energy of the Sun in the Vatican." Engineers say the panels will generate enough power to heat, cool, and light the auditorium and up to 6,000 in attendance.

Tis the season for solar.

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