Yosemite National Park Unveils Largest Solar Energy System in the National Park System

$5.8 Million Photovoltaic Project in El Portal Grid Connected and Producing Power

Yosemite National Park Superintendent Don Neubacher led a ribbon cutting ceremony today, July 27, to dedicate the El Portal Photovoltaic Project. Neubacher was joined by representatives from the offices of Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Congressman Jeff Denham (R-19th), Mariposa County Supervisor Lee Stetson, contractors, and National Park Service staff. The event dedicated the largest grid-connected photovoltaic system within the National Park Service (NPS).

The photovoltaic system at the El Portal complex is the largest NPS-managed photovoltaic project with the Pacific West Region and the largest grid-connected photovoltaic system owned and operated by the NPS. The 672 kilowatt (KW) system consists of 2,800 solar panels and produces approximately 800,000 kilowatt hours (KWh) per year. The park estimates saving approximately $50,000 per year on electricity purchased off the grid and is expecting to receive a $700,000 energy rebate from Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E) over the next five years. This represents an approximate 12 percent reduction in electricity purchased off the grid.

"The collaborative effort to design and build this system has come to fruition and we are extremely proud of the results," Stated Neubacher. "We are committed to being a leader in renewable energy and this project exemplifies our efforts."

The project was funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment act and cost $5.8 million. Construction of the system was completed in February 2011 and the interconnection agreement with PG&E was signed in late June 2011.

The El Portal Maintenance and Administrative Complex is located at the western edge of Yosemite National Park adjacent to Highway 140. The facility includes park offices, vehicle maintenance facility, the park warehouse, and other park operations. The location was chosen for the photovoltaic project due to the high amount of direct sunlight the site receives.

Featured Product

The Zilla® Phantom  - Rail-less solar mounting system

The Zilla® Phantom - Rail-less solar mounting system

The Zilla® Phantom is a revolutionary new rail-less solar mounting system. Building on the popular Zilla® Double Stud Flashing, the Phantom can mount anywhere on composite roofs, not just on joists. Additionally, the Zilla® Phantom streamlines distribution and transportation allowing for a safer, easier and more economical solar installation. The Phantom is a fully flashed and grounded system and includes everything necessary to complete a rooftop solar installation. The Zilla® Phantom affords unparalleled layout flexibility and field adjustability that simplify every step of the installation process. Visit ZillaRac.com to learn more.