Yosemite Gets Largest Solar Project of All National Parks

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.

Image Credit: AngMoKio


Stephanie F.
Stevie A5 years ago

I am so HAPPY that the Fed is putting its money into renewable energy. It is not 100% of the power needed, obviously, AND it is a BEGINNING of a better future. We need more jobs like this for other solar companies as well as wind energy businesses.

Winn Adams
Winn Adams5 years ago

Thanks for this article.

Portland N.
P. L. Neola6 years ago

It is nice that our society is making changes in its lifestyle, but will it be fast enough for all species?

Judith Emerson
Judith Emerson6 years ago

Solar lives! :D

J.L. A.
JL A6 years ago

Marvelous planning to minimize visual impact, too!

tammy B.
tammy B6 years ago

thank you for the article

Matt W.
Matt W.6 years ago

Let's see ... $5MIL to save $50K per year? Really? Never mind the annoying humming the solar project emits. And we think this is a good use of money because ...?? 88% of the Park is still powered by conventional electricity. With the bankruptcy of Solyndra this week after a $535MIL Federal loan, when are we going to say, "Enough."?

Jennifer C.
Past Member 6 years ago

Amazing! Thanks for posting.

Chris Ray
Chris R6 years ago

Awesome, thanks Jake!~

Abbe A.
Azaima A7 years ago