With a $4.4 million project funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, it’s no wonder that Yosemite National Park is looking forward to installing a large-scale solar panel project at its El Portal site. Installation begins this June on the project, which will have a 539kW PV generation system and on completion be the largest grid-connected PV system in the National Park System.
“We are very excited about this project and grateful that the Recovery Act funding became available for us to begin the installation this summer,” said Yosemite National Park Superintendent Don Neubacher. “This energy-saving photovoltaic project reflects Yosemite National Park’s commitment to sustainable and renewable energy sources.”
The El Portal site was chosen because of its high amount of direct sunlight received. The rooftop and shade structure mounted solar panels will generate around 800,000KW hours of electricity annually and double the electricity generated in renewable energy for the Pacific West Region of the National Park Service.
The solar panels are to be installed on the roofs of existing buildings and newly constructed shade structures where government vehicles will be parked. Yosemite projects up to $104,000 in savings per year with the solar project.