A photovoltaic system that will produce approximately 16,000 kilowatt hours annually was placed in service at Point Reyes National Seashore last week. Mounted on the headquarters building in Bear Valley, the system will harness energy from the sun to generate 33 percent of the electrical power consumed by the administrative operations.
Combined with the existing six photovoltaic systems annually producing nearly 19,000 kilowatt hours already in the Bear Valley area and ongoing conservation efforts that include a lighting retrofit and the installation of energy efficient thin-client computer terminals, the park will reduce its use of electricity generated by fossil fuels.
Additionally, the park will award the construction of seven additional photovoltaic systems funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act at various locations throughout the park in the next few months. These systems will generate approximately 48,000 kilowatt hours annually and offset electrical power used by park operations and visitor services in areas of the park.
Estimates indicate that once these projects are completed the park will reduce its total annual electrical consumption from fossil fuels by more than 45 percent moving the park closer to Pacific West Region’s vision of carbon neutrality by 2016; the year the National Park Service celebrates its centennial.