COLUMBIA FALLS — The power of the sun is being harnessed to provide energy at Glacier National Park.
The non-profit Glacier National Park Conservancy has installed a solar energy system at the park’s headquarters building.
The solar energy system, provided by Everybody Solar, is projected to prevent the release of 37.9 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere in its first year and reduce the park’s overall operating costs, according to a news release.
“Bringing solar energy to the headquarters will be Glacier National Park's largest energy project to date,” said GNP Chief Facility Manager Jim Foster. “This project will show the public we mean business when it comes to sustainable practices.”
The Glacier National Park Conservancy notes “sustainable practices are especially important as the park’s iconic glaciers continue to melt.”
The new solar energy system consists of placing a 42.66-kilowatt solar array onto the headquarters building. The system is expected to generate 48,500-kilowatt hours of electricity in one year.
The money saved from using the solar array will be reinvested into hiking trails, fishing rivers, campsites, and staffing.
Project partners include individual donors, the Dennis & Phyllis Washington Foundation, Business Performance Improvement, RELiON, Citizen, and Engie.