The 10 acre roof of the new Boeing 787 airplane factory in North Charleston, South Carolina will be covered with enough thin-film solar panels to provide a fifth of the plant's power. The rest will come from a nearby biomass facility, which will be powered by shrub and tree waste. The key to keeping costs under control for the project is the unique nature of thin film solar panels -- the vinyl siding of the solar world -- which are a plastic laminate and are much cheaper than the traditional "crystalline" solar panels most of us think of when we …
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