America’s first battery-powered town

At night, there are few better places to be without electricity in America than Borrego Springs, California. The desert town, about 90 miles east of San Diego, is a star-gazer’s delight. It is dimly lit, with little street lighting and no traffic lights. The stars cast a spectral glow on 130 life-sized sculptures of dinosaurs, wild horses and other creatures, roaming artistically across the desert. The resort where I stayed, La Casa del Zorro (“home of the fox”), has a dusty paddock in which guests can lie back and survey the showers of light in the night sky. “Sic itur ad astra” says a sign. Reach for the stars.

But by day, having no power can turn Borrego Springs into a death trap. Temperatures in the town, which lies in the middle of the 1,000 square-mile Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, soar to about 110 degrees in the summer.

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Mike Rawson

Mike Rawson has recently re-awoken a long-standing interest in robots and our automated future. He lives in London with a single android - a temperamental vacuum cleaner - but is looking forward to getting more cyborgs soon.

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America’s first battery-powered town

by Mike Rawson time to read: 1 min
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