Star Trek’s Captain Kirk takes a new mission: solar

Looks like solar energy has a new galactic spokesman.

William Shatner, also known as Capt. James T. Kirk of the Starship Enterprise, installed a 6.3 kilowatt hour solar panel array on his California home.

Installer Solar Alliance shared the job and a smiling picture of the veteran actor surrounding by a work crew. Seems like Shatner didn’t even have to climb into his old captain’s chair to direct the install.

“I am committed to creating a better world through action, and this is one small step toward a cleaner future that is less dependent on fossil fuels,” Shatner said in statement released by the company. “I am proud to be part of an alliance of homeowners who have made the switch to solar. You can save money and help the planet by going solar.”

Solar Alliance has designed and constructed  more than 10,000 residential solar systems in Southern California, according to the company website. It also develops renewable energy projects for utilities and independent power producers.

Veteran actor William Shatner installed a 6.3 kilowatt hour solar system on his Los Angeles home, July 17, 2017 (Photo courtesy of Solar Alliance).

Solar energy doesn’t seem like a tough sell to celebrities living in big houses, with big roofs, in sunny Southern California. Los Angeles averages about 280 sunny days a year, providing an opportunity to offset power used for air conditioning, movie sets and electric vehicle charging.

A few other actors and notables installing PV systems include Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Cate Blanchett and Edward Norton, according to various internet reports. The late actor Robin Williams was an early solar and clean energy adopter at his ranch in the North Bay.

And Leonardo DiCaprio is so dedicated to saving the planet he had the movie set of his film “Inception” powered, in part, with solar energy.

Shatner took the role of Capt. Kirk in Star Trek in 1966, continuing the role through seven movies and countless public appearances. Clearly, space travel captured the public imagination a little more than photovoltaic cells.

Photo: William Shatner as Captain Kirk in “Star Trek.” (Bay Area News Group archives)


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  • omegatalon

    William Shatner should use his position to encourage someone like SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk to take a page out of Star Trek by creating a solar platform over 10-miles in diameter in geosynchronous orbit to convert solar energy into electricity then beam the energy to a ground station.

    • Devin Serpa

      What!? So the Romulans can redirect the energy at Starfleet headquarters? No thank you.

  • Devin Serpa

    Second paragraph should read “6.3 kilowatt solar system”, not “6.3 kilowatt hour solar panel array”.

    A system is made up of one or more arrays.
    A kilowatt hour is the measure of energy.
    A kilowatt is the measure of power.

    Spock out.

  • Solar energy is by far a new hope especially in developing countries. Half of African population do not have access to on-grid electricity. Off-grid solar systems may improve many people’s life.