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Harnessing the Power of the Sun, Solar Impulse Plane Lands in DC Area

June 17, 2013 - 6:15pm

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Watch Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz give remarks at the Solar Impulse Press Conference in Washington, D.C.

Today, Secretary Moniz spoke at an event welcoming the arrival of the solar-powered Solar Impulse plane at Dulles International Airport near Washington, D.C. During the event, held at the National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Secretary Moniz highlighted the rapid expansion of the solar industry in the United States over the past four years.

Nearing the tail end of a coast-to-coast journey that began in San Francisco -- Solar Impulse is the first airplane in history to harness the power of the sun to fly day and night without the use of fuel. An engineering marvel, Solar Impulse incorporates a variety of innovative clean energy technologies -- from the 12,000 high-performance solar cells covering the plane’s wingspan to lithium-polymer batteries (charged by the solar cells during the day) that provide power when the sun sets.  

As Secretary Moniz noted during his speech, Solar Impulse is a symbol of a technology that is coming of age. Over the past four years, the costs of solar photovoltaic systems have dropped by 80 percent -- making them a more affordable and accessible option for American families and businesses.

Hear more from Secretary Moniz on Solar Impulse and the Energy Department’s efforts to advance clean energy technologies by watching the video above. Also, take a look at the photos we captured at today’s event highlighting this one-of-a-kind solar-powered plane

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