Yosemite takes on a bigger solar initiative.

National parks exist to preserve, protect, conserve, and share the natural beauty of nature which encompasses everything from the plants, rocks, land, summits, lakes, trails, waterfalls, and animals.


One of the greatest benefits that solar power can give to national parks is its ability to reduce carbon dioxide emission which has a major impact on global warming. As many of us are aware, greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide contribute to harmful changes to the Earth. With a reduction of carbon dioxide, we as individuals, businesses, and organizations can help avoid dangerous climatic changes – changes that may affect the life cycle and health of our plants and animals on land and in the oceans which in turn, affect the human population.

Yosemite’s solar projects can help not only the Earth and community, but its very own park’s future sustenance as well. Visitors will leave the national park with beautiful memories of their trip along with the biggest solar power array installed among all national parks thus far.

The red ribbon cutting ceremony led by Don Neubacher took place on July 27, 2011.

The entire system is located within the maintenance and administrative complex where it can do its job without obstructing or distracting from the natural beauties of the park.

The breakdown of the system is as follows:

  • 500 kW solar canopy over a parking lot
  • 100 kW rooftop array on a warehouse
  • 72 kW wall mounted array

That makes a total of 672 kW – a system utilizing 2,800 solar panels with an anticipated power production of 800,000 kilowatt hours annually. This solar array is expected to produce 12 percent of the park’s needed power at a cost of $4.5 million. With calculations set, Yosemite will be taking advantage of the $50,000 savings each year on energy costs from the grid as well as $700,000 in energy rebates from PG&E over the next five years – a great deal for the exchange in benefits.


“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.”

Not only are these installations beneficial on various scales, they also set an example for the community and for other parks. The financial and environmental impact from solar power is tremendous and is definitely praiseworthy.

Schools are going solar. Homes are going solar. Businesses are going solar. Government is going solar. Street lights are going solar. Parks are going solar. The impact from visions joined by many people make a huge difference in the health and sustenance of our natural resources, our life cycle, and ecosystem. It’s the efforts of many that make the benefits and results stronger, sturdier, and more meaningful for everyone. It’s important to support causes where we can make a difference.

Solar panels are great for the Earth and for the people – there’s no question about it.