Yosemite National Park Cutting Costs by Going Solar
Yosemite National Park in California will soon be home to the largest solar energy installation in the U.S. National Park System. Officialsyesterday announced that the park will install a 539-kilowatt (kW),grid-tied photovoltaic (PV) system at a maintenance complex located just outside park boundaries.
“This project exemplifies how Yosemite, the Pacific West region, theNational Park Service, the Department of the Interior and the Presidentare trying to lead the way in making our facilitiesclimate-friendly,” said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazarin a prepared statement.
According to the plan, solar panels will be installed on existingbuildings and atop a yet-to-be-constructed shadeport, under which carswill be parked. The panels are expected to generate electricity at alevelized cost of about 13 cents per kilowatt hour, reducing annualelectricity costs by about $104,000. Thanks to $4.4 million in federalstimulus funds, the project will go forward.
“We are very excited about this project and grateful that theRecovery Act funding became available for us to begin the installationthis summer,” said Yosemite National Park Superintendent Don Neubacher. ”This energy-saving photovoltaic project reflects YosemiteNational Park’s commitment to sustainable and renewable energy sources.”
The Park System has selected Paragon Industrial Applications, aCalifornia solar installer, to design and install the solar electricsystem. Construction is set to begin in June.
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