PlanetSolar heads to sea under the Swiss flag

Bern, Press release, 27.09.2010

The biggest solar-powered boat in the world, the MS TÛRANOR PlanetSolar, left the port of Monaco on Monday 27 September 2010 at 2.00 p.m. to begin the first-ever voyage around the world by a solar-powered vessel. The Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), which has been supporting the project for nearly two years, is associated with the expedition as an official partner.

The mission of the catamaran MS TÛRANOR PlanetSolar is to complete the first voyage around the world by a boat powered solely by photoelectric energy. The project aims to help build up the body of knowledge in the field of solar mobility and its development. 

The FDFA is supporting the project with an amount of 300,000 Swiss francs over the three-year period, 2009-2011. Switzerland’s representations abroad will provide organisational and logistical support during the catamaran’s voyage at its various ports of call.

The round-the-world expedition is expected to last at least eight months, and will take the vessel to the east and west coasts of North America as well as Cancun (Mexico), Sydney, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates. Depending on the prevailing meteorological conditions, the voyage could take significantly longer.

The PlanetSolar project came into being on the shores of Lake Neuchâtel, Switzerland. From the beginning, it comprised an international team of physicists, engineers, boat-builders and other people convinced of the importance of renewable energy and the protection of the environment. 

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Federal Department of Foreign Affairs