Drones, Robotics Could Cut Solar Farm Costs Up to 30%
Drones, robotics, software, and other technology may be on the verge of cutting the cost of designing and operating solar farms by up to 30%, according to SunPower Corporation CEO Tom Werner.
And a separate CBC report suggests those drones may soon by powered by hydrogen fuel cells.
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“We are in a transition period in the solar industry where the strongest companies are going to separate themselves from the rest of the pack,” Werner said last week. The company “announced a suite of new tools including solar trackers and robotic cleaners that will help it reduce design and labour expenses in a market that has become increasingly competitive as a manufacturing glut has driven down panel costs,” Bloomberg News reports.
Meanwhile, CBC notes that fuel cell performance is improving at just the moment when drone costs are falling. “We’ve got two new technologies that are converging at an exponential pace,” said Thomas Jones, director of product development at Montreal-based EnergyOr. “It’s exciting to be involved with…optimizing them together and riding this wave of technology development.”