Over $4 million in federal stimulus grants has gone to Yosemite National Park for a photovoltaic power system. It is expected to generate 800,000 kilowatt hours of electricity each year. Reportedly it could save up to about $100,000 per year by reducing electrical consumption from the grid by twelve percent.
Construction at the El Portal installation site will begin next month. Solar panels will be added to rooftops of existing buildings and to shade structures that will be built at the same time. The El Portal site was chosen due to the high amount of sunlight it receives. It is located near the western side of the park, and slightly south of the midpoint. The Merced River is very close by, and is quite striking with rushing water, waterfalls and many boulders.
“This energy-saving photovoltaic project reflects Yosemite National Park’s commitment to sustainable and renewable energy sources,” said Yosemite National Park Superintendent Don Neubacher.
The stimulus money will also fund solar projects at other national parks such as Death Valley, Golden Gate National Park and Point Reyes National Seashore.
Paragon Industrial Applications will complete the project. They are located in Atascadero, California.
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