SOLAR IMPULSE 2 IS READY TO FINISH ITS ROUND-THE-WORLD FLIGHT

SOLAR IMPULSE 2 , the solar-powered airplane sidelined last year midway through a pioneering trip around the world, is finally taking flight again. The goal is to prove solar energy can send a plane around the world, no Jules Verne-style time trial needed.

Piccard and his fellow Swiss pilot Andre Borschberg have been grounded since July, when their most impressive flight—a five-day, nonstop leap from Japan to Hawaii—led to their biggest setback,frying the plane’s batteries. With a fresh pack, a new cooling system to protect it, and some valuable lessons learned, they’re ready to resume the journey. Piccard will fly Solar Impulse 2 to the west coast of the United States, destination TBD. Then it’s on to New York and across the Atlantic to Europe or North Africa before returning to Abu Dhabi,where the trip started more than a year ago.

The Turkish Offical partner of Solar Impulse is BRISA.

During the unexpected downtime, the team also worked on an unmanned version of Solar Impulse 2. An autonomous craft is smaller and lighter, and just robust enough to carry  a payload for, say, observation. Ditching the pilot has a more important upside: no need to land for food, water, and pilot sanity. An aircraft capable of remaining aloft indefinitely has obvious potential, like beaming Internet access to developing nations, tracking weather, and patrolling borders.

All that’s in the future, but Borschberg and Piccard remain convinced it will happen, and that aviation will one day abandon fossil fuel. “When I’m flying a solar airplane that can fly forever, I have the impression to be already 30 years in the future,” Piccard says. “And when I land, I have the impression to go back in the past. I say, ‘Wow, they are still using combustion engines!’”

After too many months on the ground, Piccard is climbing back into his time machine and flying into the future.

TSK, ACCIONA AND SENER INAUGURATE THE WORLD’S LARGEST SOLAR POWER PLANT IN MOROCCO

Morocco has commissioned 160MW Noor 1, the first phase of the world’s largest solar power plant located near Ouarzazate city.

Ouarzazate Solar Power Station (OSPS) is a solar power complex located in the Souss-Massa-Drâa area in Morocco, 10 km from Ouarzazate town, in Ghessat rural council area. The entire Solar Project is planned to produce 580 MW at peak when finished and is being built in three phases and in four parts. Total project expected to cost $9 billion.

 

The plant will be able to store solar energy in the form of heated molten salt, allowing for production of electricity into the night. Phase 1 comes with a full-load molten salt storage capacity of 3 hours. The planned Phase 2 (Noor 2 and 3 plants), due to open in 2017 and 2018 will store energy for up to eight hours. It will cover an area of 2,500 hectares (6,178 acres).

The project is developed with help of the Spanish consortium TSK-Acciona-Sener and is the first in a series of several planned developments at the Ouarzazate Solar Complex by the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (MASEN).

LEADING TURKISH BUSINESSMAN MUSTAFA KOC PASSED AWAY

Mustafa Koç, the chairman of Turkey’s largest conglomerate, died of a heart attack on Jan. 21.

Born in 1960, Koç was educated at the Lyceum Alpinum Zuoz in Switzerland and graduated from George Washington University in 1984. As a third-generation member of the Koç family, he was appointed president of Koç Holding in 2003, replacing his retired father, Rahmi Koç. Koç was the head of the High Advisory Council of Turkey’s top business organization, TÜSİAD, between 2005 and 2010. He was also the honorary president of the High Advisory Board of TÜSİAD and a member of the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEİK).

 

Koç Holding has been the only Turkish business group on the Fortune 500 Global List. According to latest data from the Istanbul Chamber of Industry, there are five Koç companies in Turkey’s largest industry companies. Koç Holding owns Turkey’s oil refinery, Tüpraş, two major automotive producers in metal, Tofaş and Ford Otosan, home appliance maker Arçelik and LPG for cars and bottled gas retailer Aygaz on the İSO’s latest annual list. The group also owns Yapı Kredi Bank, fuel distribution company Opet and defense maker Otokar, among others.

Koç Holding make around 45 percent of Turkey’s car production and 43 percent of the country’s total car exports. Its share in the country’s total exports is around 10 percent.