Mark McLarry, a Point Loma resident, co-owns a solar-powered stage that is being used on this summer's Warped Tour. His company, Sustainable Waves, rents out the stage for other events throughout the year. Though McLarry lives in San Diego, the stage is stored in Austin, Texas, where McLarry's business partner, Neal Turley, resides.
Turley says, "The bottom line is you need to design your sound system and everything that you utilize to run as energy efficient as possible because the bottom line is solar does not create that much electricity."
Turley constructed an energy-efficient PA system by building his own PA cabinets; cables and mixing boards were chosen based on how much electricity they draw.
"The reality is the solar system charges the batteries. If we are in a full-sun day in California or Texas, we can potentially float with the electricity we generate and not use any stored battery at all. But most of the time, shows are two or three days long, so we end up going into the battery storage." The biggest power concern, says Turley, is how much equipment each band brings onstage.
Turley says the Warped Tour has gone "green" in other ways.
"All the meals that they serve are all vegetarian, they're fueling all the trucks with bio-diesel, we've got the solar stage there, and we're also running a veggie-oil generator that's powering a number of the stages."