Solar-powered plane talk at Chemical Heritage Foundation

 The Solar Impulse, piloted by Bertrand Piccard, flies over San Francisco Bay in April 2013. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

The Solar Impulse, piloted by Bertrand Piccard, flies over San Francisco Bay in April 2013. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

A chemical company with local ties is a major partner on a solar-powered airplane.

Why?

“It’s not only a question of producing a new plane; it’s a question of promoting alternative energy,” said Claude Michel, the man heading up Solvay’s partnership with the Solar Impulse.

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