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“Solarize” is a project, located at the Red Hill on the east shore of the Salton Sea, meant for the American nomadic populations that travel the nation in their outfitted vans. These people, depicted in Jessica Bruder in her book Nomadland, have certain needs that are not currently being met by contemporary society; this project seeks to accommodate the land to the nomadic lifestyle and provide these van-dwellers with daily needs. Specifically the need for electricity and reprieve from the California sun. In order to meet their requirements for survival, “Solarize” proposes a line of solar panels be built stretching from the base of the Red Hill out into the Salton Sea. The idea is to create a striking east-west line drawn across the landscape, acknowledging and not altering the natural terrain and water while still imposing some sense of order upon the organic lines of the site’s geography. A shining beacon against dull rock, the solar panels seek to provide and protect, allowingvans and boats to drive or sail up to the infrastructure and connect to its energy. 

The industrial nature of the steel design is based off the purely practical form of pylons, which also cut a distinct line across the landscape, albeit a less substantial one when considering shade. Pylons, though often utilizing trusses to support their soaring heights, can look as straightforward as the solar panel designs developed for this project. The height of the individual panels is determined, unlike the necessary towering nature of pylons, by the varying height of vans and the needed shade. They are just tall enough to allow for travel beneath, but not so tall as to make the parallel line of cover unusable. 

This project also takes inspiration from the Green New Deal proposed  by US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, making sure to utilize and promote clean energy. This line of solar panels adjacent and within the Salton Sea is but a small part of a larger network of sources of clean energy throughout California and the larger United States. Ideally, this design would aid in propagating a series of sites like this where nomadic people are able and encouraged to drive up, attach their vehicle, and receive free energy in order to promote solar panel use on a larger scale. Designs such as this one would pop up amidst any kind of environment so as to allow these nomads to travel freely and not worry about their access to clean energy. 

This project and others like it seek to encourage green energy alternatives while also protecting and aiding those who travel the US rather than settle into a stagnant plot of land.

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