Prototype vessel being built in Germany

A $13m dollar 98-foot long solar-powered boat is under construction at the Knierim Yacht Club in Kiel, Germany, with a view to making the first attempt at a solar-powered circumnavigation.

Planet Solar will be 50 feet wide, expanding to 82 feet when all 5,059 square feet of photovoltaic cells are unfurled.

A Swiss renewable energy investment company, Rivendell Holding AG, is funding the project, in order to prove that the shipping industry can reduce its dependence on fossil fuel, according to news reports.

The team plans to circumnavigate the globe at the equator in 120 days at an average speed of 10 knots.

Should they succeed, Planet Solar will set a maritime milestone because no one has circumnavigated the globe in a solar electric boat thus far.

Read the full story on Planet Solar here.