Yosemite National Park is known for El Capitan and the breathtaking views captured by Ansel Adams, but visitors may soon remember another sight from their trip. Yosemite has installed the largest solar power array of all the national parks with a 672 kW system that will provide 12 percent of the park's power needs.
Installed by Suntrek, the system consists of a 500 kW solar canopy over a parking lot, a 100 kW rooftop array on a warehouse and a 72 kW wall mounted array, all located within the park's maintenance and administrative complex. The whole system is made up of 2,800 solar PV panels.
The $4.5 million installation will save the park $50,000 a year on energy costs and the park also expects to receive $700,000 in energy rebates from PG&E over the next five years.
This is something I'd love to see more of. While no one wants to see our national parks overrun with solar arrays, it is very fitting to install them at administrative or visitor centers where electricity is used. National parks exist to conserve and protect the most amazing parts of our land, so renewable energy seems to be ideal for providing their electricity.
Head over to SolarWorld's website, the maker of the panels, to see some cool photos of the project.
written by Dave, August 09, 2011
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