Motorists traveling U.S. Interstate 80 in northeast Nevada after dark can see a lighted “C” on a mountainside about 20 miles west of Elko.

The pride of the mining town of Carlin, it is similar to the big white letters marking a number of towns and cities across Nevada, but unlike the others, this one is solar powered.

“Everybody notices, and I get calls on the phone. Even the truck drivers see it. It’s in an ideal place to view,” said longtime Carlin resident Boomer Simpkins, who led the effort for permanent lighting.

“The ‘C’ goes on at dusk and off at daylight,” he said.

“It looks great,” Carlin City Manager Glenn Trust said.

Simpkins said Wednesday the project committee included himself, former Carlin Councilman Tim Sirotek and Jeff Alexander, an electrician who works for Newmont Mining Corp. Sirotek also works for Newmont.

“I was the guy to get it going, and these guys did all the work,” Simpkins said.

Sirotek had lit up the “C” in the past when there were night ball games, using a mini-generator, and Simpkins said he told Sirotek they should do something for permanent lighting.

“He said solar. Now it is lit by solar,” Simpkins said.

Solar power operates the batteries for the lights, and there are solar panels and 58 light bulbs at the site. Globes cover the bulbs to protect them.

“That was Jeff’s idea,” Simpkins said of the globes.

source: therepublic