FRESNO, CA -- Blackbeard's, a 35-year-old family entertainment center here, said it plans to partially switch over to solar power in the fall. The facility will break ground on June 25 on a new solar-energy system that should be operational within four months.
The system will include 824 photovoltaic panels mounted horizontally on tree-like poles. While soaking up energy from the sun, the 40-sq.ft panels will also provide shade for the FEC's picnic area and parking lot. SEE STORY
The new power system is expected to generate more than 316,317 kilowatt-hours of electricity in the first year -- enough energy to power 29 homes.
A popular regional destination, Blackbeard's facility encompasses 15 acres and features an amusement arcade, mini golf, go-karts and laser tag, among other attractions. Greg Florer opened the FEC in 1977.
Renewable energy sources like solar and wind still provide just a small fraction of the world's electricity. But they’re growing fast, and Blackbeard's is part of the expanding trend.
PHOTO: A solar panel array at a Copenhagen amusement park. Solar photovoltaic (PV) cell manufacturers produced a record 10,700 megawatts of PV cells globally in 2009, a 51% increase compared with the year before. Learn more at sustainablog.org.