Solar spreads its wings
The Solar Ark, located in Gifu, Japan, is a power generation facility with 5,046 solar panels spread over its unique 1,033-foot-wide by 121-foot-tall frame. Built by electronics giant Sanyo, which has since merged with Panasonic, the winglike structure is supported by just four columns. Annually, this building can generate 530,000 kilowatts of energy, enough to power more than 200 homes.
In a different building, this site also hosts the Solar Lab, a museum about solar energy. The museum has 10 zones, including a solar library and solar community garden, which houses a solar-powered robot.