Going green is a big deal not only for the environment, but also for the impact it can have on the costs to operate a business or home. The price of electricity is a huge expense for many organizations and even what seem to be small reductions in energy use can add up to huge savings. Yosemite National Park has rolled out a new solar power system that is placed on existing structures to minimize the impact to the views and environment in the park.
The solar array cost the park $5.8 million to install and is the largest solar installation to ever be added to a national park. The $5.8 million system generated 672 kW of power total, has 2,800 PV panels, and can provide 12% of the total energy needs for the park. A savings of 12% may not sound like much, with the energy consumption of the park that adds up to about a $50,000 yearly savings in electricity.
The installation includes a 500kW solar canopy over the parking area, a 100kW rooftop array, and a 72kW wall array. The system was designed and installed by Suntrek. The park also expects to receive a $700,000 energy rebate from Pacific Gas & Electric Co over the next five years.