Floating Solar Panels Or Windmills? Millionaires Weigh In.

Solar power is a buzzword even among millionaires--as long as it doesn't ruin their view.

Man-made islands--actually 25-meter-wide collections of floating solar panels--will be installed in the Swiss lake Neuchâtel this August. They’re an experiment in eco-power, and their flatness could have a surprise benefit: Will this be a model for harvesting energy offshore that keeps wealthy landowners happy, unlike the wind turbines that caused a row among residents of Cape Cod? (Some claimed the tall equipment ruined their view.)

We asked 10 millionaires: “Which would you prefer to see outside your waterfront home?”

SOLAR PANELS 50%

“It’s low to the ground, so I won’t see it.”
--Doctor, Florida

WINDMILLS 50%

“The gentle movement of those windmills is very soothing.”
--Venture capitalist, Massachusetts

And the tiebreaker goes to: Audra Parker, president and CEO of Save Our Sound, the primary Nantucket Sound opposition group. “I would need to better understand what the trade-offs are,” she defers. It remains a tie!

Illustration by Till Hafenbrak

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