Mariposa & Yosemite

Yosemite plans $4.4 million solar energy project

Yosemite National Park will install solar panels in June to create the largest solar energy project in the national park system.

The $4.4 million project, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will be installed at El Portal administration center. It will generate approximately 800,000 kilowatt hours of electricity each year, resulting in a 12 percent savings on electricity, Yosemite officials said. Upon completion, the park will double the electricity produced through renewable energy for the Pacific West Region of the National Park Service, which consists of 58 sites. At 13 cents per kilowatt hour, the park is projecting a yearly savings of up to $104,000.

Solar panels will be mounted on rooftops of existing buildings and on newly-constructed shade structures.

The project will be completed by Atascadero-based Paragon Industrial Applications.