Renewables for Artists Team

Foreground Solar Installation at Ripple by Josh Vermette

Background RAT Solar Installation at The Empyrean Temple by Laurence Renzo Verbeck, Sylvia Adrienne Lisse and the Temple Crew


The Renewables for Artists Team (RAT) educates and mentors Black Rock City artists to switch from generators to renewable energy powered art projects.

We enable artists to address the Burning Man Project's 2030 Environmental Sustainability Initiatives.

RAT's structure is that of do-ocracy. OSGeo Wiki defines it as “an organizational structure in which individuals choose roles and tasks for themselves and execute them. Responsibilities attach to people who do the work, rather than elected or selected officials."

That said, there is a team lead.


Doug Hanson "Radio" at Spacecats Final Landing

The Problem

Hundreds of electric generators that burn gasoline and diesel fuels are used each year at the Burning Man Project's Black Rock City event. While they have provided the electricity needed to power Black Rock City the generators produce noise, air pollution and greenhouse gases. Also, generator operations can cause hazardous liquid spills on to the playa that require expensive cleanup. And, the generators are a health and safety hazard because they emit harmful air pollutants including carbon monoxide that can cause adverse health effects and even death*.

Generators in use at Burning Man 2022

The Solution

The Renewables for Artists Team (RAT) was formed to assist artists to move away from having to use generators to power their art installations and helps artists who have no or little knowledge about renewable power systems that are suitable for use at Black Rock City.


by Josh Vermette

“Friendship Cube”

by Lindsey Fielding

Strategy - Who and What

The RAT is comprised of individuals who are concerned about the noise and air pollution the electric generators produce at Black Rock City. Their collective vision is a hands-on approach to moving Black Rock City towards using renewable energy sources as much as possible that will have a real and quantifiable impact on reducing noise, air pollution and greenhouse gases.

Tactics - How

The RAT educates and mentors artists who want to transition from powering their art installations with generators to renewable power systems. The RAT assists artists with:

  • Completing an installation electrical load analysis or electrical inventory

  • Designing the system

  • Providing advice about the acquisition of system components

  • Troubleshooting the systems on the playa

Troubleshooting - “Giganty’s Boundless Energy Gadget”

Building - at the "Empyrean Temple”

Troubleshooting - “Spacecats Final Landing”

Coming Soon

Solar Power 101 - In Person Course - Gerlach, Nevada

Session 1: January 12th, 13th, 14th, 2023

Session 2: January 15th, 16th, 17th, 2023

See Solar Power 101 Under Education for Details

2023 Black Rock City RAT Artist Proposal Submissions

Date and Time and Links To Be Announced

Join the RAT!

We welcome everyone who is interested in transitioning from generators to renewable power at Black Rock City to join the RAT. We hold weekly Zoom calls where we discuss RAT business and at most meetings we follow-up with and record skills sharpening sessions.

Join us on Wednesdays at 11:00 am Pacific Time: