Yosemite Going Solar

Tuesday, May 18, 2010  |  Updated 8:22 AM PDT
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Crescent Lake (Yosemite Valley). Thomas Hill. (1829-1908).

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Yosemite National Park soon will be home to the largest solar energy project in the national park system.

Federal officials said Monday that the park will install a 539-kilowatt photovoltaic electric system with $4.4 million in funding from the federal stimulus package.

Construction is scheduled to begin next month at the El Portal Maintenance Complex, where solar panels will be mounted on the roofs of existing buildings and new parking structures to shade government vehicles.

The system is expected generate about 800,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually. Officials say it will save up to $104,000 per year and cut the amount of electricity purchased off the grid by nearly 12 percent.

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