Yosemite gets largest solar array in park system

Yosemite National is Park expected to start installing the park system's largest solar array this summer, a $4.4 million project that will feature photovoltaic panels on rooftops of existing buildings and on newly constructed shade shelters.

The estimated energy bills savings is $104,000 annually. The 539-kilowatt system will be at El Portal, Yosemite's administrative center, which receives the most direct sunlight, officials said.

The installation money is from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The system will be the largest in the National Park system, and will double the electricity produced through renewable enegy for the park service's Pacific West Region.

Paragon Industrial Applications of Atascadero is doing the installation.

Yosemite's array will be the largest, but not the only solar system planned for national parks. In fact, solar systems are planned for coast to coast - from Alcatraz to Cumberland Island National Seashore in Georgia, according to sunpluggers.com.

Mount Rainier National Park in Washington state also is getting solar on buildings.

Here's more on National Park Service goals from SecurityInfoWatch.com.

Yosemite is a short distance from Fresno, which has an airport with an innovative solar project and where the San Joaquin Valley Clean Energy Organization is based. Maybe we'll take a drive and check out the new solar panels.

The San Joaquin Valley Clean Energy Organization is a nonprofit dedicated to improving our region's quality of life by increasing its production and use of clean and alternative energy. The SJVCEO works with cities and counties and public and private organizations to demonstrate the benefits of energy efficiency and renewable energy throughout the eight-county region of the San Joaquin Valley.