Published on January 13th, 2016 | by Kyle Field14
Leilani Münter Tours California To Talk Solar
January 13th, 2016 by Kyle Field
Leilani Münter hit the road in Southern California yesterday in 006 — the same projector-wielding Tesla Model S that was utilized in Racing Extinction — to spread the word about solar. The whirlwind 2-day tour starts in San Diego and winds through the heart of the state with stops scheduled at several solar schools and a handful of Tesla Supercharging stations before wrapping up in the state capital of Sacramento. Leilani Münter, the star of the show, is a professional race car driver and environmental activist who uses her somewhat curious profession as a race car driver as a platform to talk about the environment.
At first, this seems backwards — why drive a car that burns gas way faster than necessary (aka, burn more gas) to beat out other drivers (…more gas) in a sport that essentially promotes driving gas cars (MORE gas!)?… But digging into it, the ingenious plan unfolds. There are 75 million race fans in the US that are very interested in fast cars…and who better to talk to all those fans about the environment than one of their very own — a race car driver! Exactly.
Shifting gears back to California, the tour aims to raise awareness of the debate currently underway at CPUC that will determine the fate of the current net metering regulation that underpins much of the current installed base of photovoltaic (PV) solar and, more importantly, future PV solar installations. The commission is scheduled to make a decision on January 28th, 2016, and with California often looked to by other states and nations, the decision will likely have a ripple effect which only reinforces the importance of taking action now.
Out on the road, Leilani stopped at the Nicholas Valley Elementary School in Temecula, CA, where she talked with ~600 students and faculty about solar and STEM — Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math — to get kids excited about renewable energy and the technology that makes it possible. STEM continues to be a challenging field, and it will take focused effort to pull in enough little scientists to fill future jobs in these key fields. Leilani sets a great example of a strong female leader in the space who is really connected with the kids:
After the school visit yesterday, she charged her way north, with scheduled stops at Superchargers along the way where fans and press were able to meet up to talk about the tour. Today, she will visit the Veva Blunt Elementary School in Visalia, CA, before continuing on to the grand finale in the state capital of Sacramento.
In Sacramento this evening, Leilani will pop out the two projectors, which usually rest dormant in the rear hatch and frunk areas of 006, and will put on the big show. They will light up key Sacramento landmarks with images and messages supporting the importance of solar in the state, speaking to California’s historical leadership in solar, and reinforcing that it should continue to lead the nation in solar through decisive policy and action.
For folks in the area, stop by to see the show in Sacramento this evening at: Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento Bee building, State Capitol, Amtrak station, Old Sacramento State Historic Park, Tower Bridge, and the Ziggurat.