Yosemite National Park’s Newest Feature: Solar Power

Solar power — By Stephanie on May 19, 2010 at 6:08 am
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Pristine beauty at Yosemite National Park (photo by Alaskan Dude on Flickr)

The majestic Sierra Nevada mountains in California are like nothing you’ve ever seen before.  Until you visit Yosemite National Park, that is.  One of the most beautiful parks in the U.S., this jewel of the west boasts impressive rock formations and waterfalls.  No wonder Ansel Adams loved to come here to photograph.

The federal government is working to ensure that the pristine beauty of this natural wonderland is preserved for future generations.  In fall 2010, Yosemite National Park’s newest feature will include solar power!

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Beautiful Yosemite Valley (image by Joe Shlobotnik on Flickr)

The buildings at the El Portal administration center in Yosemite will be fitted with solar panels – the largest solar installation in a U.S. national park!  Expected to generate 800,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of solar power each year, the National Park Service will be able to save 12% or more each year on its energy bills at Yosemite.  All of that electricity savings will result in an extra $104,000!

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Sierra Nevadas in March (c) Stephanie Hicks

Using federal stimulus funds, the solar panels at Yosemite National Park will bring the total number of renewable energy installations in the Pacific West Region of the National Park Service to 59.  Perhaps even more impressive is the fact that the new solar panel array will double the amount of solar electricity generated in the parks region.

If you want to see solar power at other national parks, why not stop by the Visitor Center at the Grand Canyon in Arizona?  The solar panels installed on the Park’s south entrance generate about 30% of the visitor center’s electricity needs.

Solar power at National Parks…. makes sense to save these national, natural treasures with renewable energy installations!

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  1. John Lackner says:

    What was the name of the company that installed the solar power system?

  2. The possibilities are huge for residential solar energy. With the rising cost of energy solar power will only become more attractive in the future.

  3. Bill says:

    How is a 6mil expenditure of our tax dollars with a return of investment till around 2088 an attractive investment and not a criminal waste of money?

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