Things that make you go hmmmmm : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

While listening to soft-rock radio this morning on quote:"The most comfortable station on the dial"; 1st DJ:People are wondering whats going on over at the Pentagon parking lot.2nd DJ:Have you seen those big panels out there? 1st DJ: They're bulding a HUGE solar generator...I think it's to generate electricity while they do renovations...............Don't go away.....traffic and weather are up next!

-- Arthur Rambo (, August 24, 1998


Washington Post article about this:

-- Buddy Y. (, August 25, 1998.

Let's try that again.

From the Wash. Post:

Monday, August 24, 1998; Page D05

Pentagon's Solar Panels Attract Attention

As demolition crews and other workers proceed with a $1.1 billion renovation of the Pentagon, a 50-foot-tall structure has been plunked down at the edge of one of the building's parking lots.

Because the Pentagon makeover is so far-reaching and affects so many of the people who work there, the Army Corps of Engineers, which is overseeing the project, has created a Web site (

Although the contraption in the parking lot isn't, strictly speaking, part of the renovation, it has drawn the most questions to the Web site.

The usual question: "Is it a new weapon?"

Nothing so exotic, say Pentagon officials and the Department of Energy, which is responsible for what is actually a solar collector, built with federal and private funds. It uses mirrors to focus sunlight into an engine that generates electricity.

On a good -- meaning bright -- day, it can generate 22 kilowatt-hours, which then help power the Pentagon.

The Pentagon's South Parking Lot was chosen as a showcase site for a couple of reasons. First, there's no shade.

And second, "It's adjacent to the highway," said Gary Burch, who heads up solar energy research programs at the Department of Energy, "and can be viewed by a maximum number of commuters."

Energy Department scientists hope that having the solar device in such a prominent place will spur curiosity from the public about a promising technology as well as support from lawmakers across the river.

The machine, which was erected in April, is due to leave the parking lot in October and head to Arizona, where scientists say there's enough sunlight to make it generate twice as much electricity as in the Washington area.

Meanwhile, the 14-year renovation, begun four years ago, is still in its infancy. Demolition is almost finished in the first fifth of the five-sided building. Known as Wedge I and emptied of personnel over the last year, the area is awaiting approval of interior plans, according to Tom Fontana, spokesman for the Army Corps Pentagon Restoration project.

-- Alice Reid

-- buddy (, August 25, 1998.

22KW has got to be a mere droplet of water vapor hovering above the proverbial bucket compared to the amount of juice the Pentagon must require at any given time. Still, it would be interesting to note if the device actually does get shipped off to AZ this October.

-- Paul Bednarek (, August 25, 1998.


22KW hours, at around 10 cents per KW hour, has a value of approximately $2.00 per day. This sure sounds like another one of those Pentagon boondoggles, spending millions to save $2.00 a day. ...

-- Dan Hunt (, August 25, 1998.

But 22KW would be more than enough to power an electric fence, and it wouldn't depend on the grid....

-- Larry Kollar (, August 25, 1998.

So...Things are more like they are now, than they ever were before?

-- Arthur Rambo (, August 26, 1998.

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