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Solar Power Arrives At The Yosemite

August 18th, 2011 · No Comments

Solar Power arrives at the Yosemite. Suntrek, based in Irvine, California, has installed a 672 kW solar power system at the Yosemite National Park

Wall-mounted solar panels at the Yosemite National Park

Suntrek, based in Irvine, California, has installed a 672 kW solar power system at the Yosemite National Park, one of the nation’s oldest and most beloved nature reserves. Visitors to the park will see not just the parks natural attractions, including the world-famous El Capitan monolith, but the solar panels attached to structures in the park’s administrative area.

Thus far, no other national park has installed renewable energy systems similar in size to the solar arrays at Yosemite. The system, installed as solar roof paneling atop a parking lot (generating 500 kW of electricity) and as rooftop array on a park warehouse (generating 100 kW of electricity) is expected to supply the park with 12 percent of its total power requirement.

A total of 2,800 solar photovoltaic panels were used in the project. Both buildings are located in the park’s built-up area which serve as its administrative, storage, and maintenance center.

Park officials estimate that the $4.5 million project will enable them to save as much as $50,000 a year on electricity expenses. PG&E, the utility company serving Yosemite, will also be giving back about $700,000 to the park in the form of energy rebates in the next 5 years.

While the projected electric bill savings can’t justify the cost even in 30 years, I think this is a step in the right direction. Our national parks, including the Yosemite, are the repositories of this nation’s great natural treasures, it’s only fitting that the very people and institutions assigned to care for them use renewable, nature-friendly energy sources.

Via: EcoGeek
Photo: Solar World

Tags: Renewable Energy