High-altitude solar power in Rocky Mountain National Park
Independent Power Systems installed an off-grid power system at the Trail Ridge Store at the top of Trail Ridge Road (the highest continuously-paved road in the U.S.) in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Location: Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
System Size: 54.72 kW
System Elevation: 11,798 ft. above sea level
Est. CO2 Offset: 123,090 lbs/yr
Project Type: Off-grid Solar
Client: Xanterra Travel Collection
Solar Power in the National Parks
Independent Power Systems has officially installed the highest commercial solar system in the United States!
IPS was commissioned by Xanterra Travel Collection to design and build an off-grid 55-kilowatt SunPower solar system with a 32-kilowatt (131-kilowatt hour) battery storage system to power the Trail Ridge Store at the top of Trail Ridge Road (the highest continuous paved road in the U.S.) in Rocky Mountain National Park.
The Trail Ridge Store solar system is built to withstand the extreme weather of a tundra environment at an elevation of 11,798 feet and designed to provide close to 100 percent of the Trail Ridge Store’s electrical power needs. Excess solar energy produced by the solar power system is stored, processed, and delivered to the building by the IPS Power Conex. The Power Conex – an off-grid product unique to Independent Power Systems – is a customized twenty-foot shipping container that safely houses the inverters and batteries from the elements.
The goal for this system was to reduce dependence on the existing 125-kilowatt diesel generator that now only provides backup power as needed during prolonged low sun periods. It is estimated to save 5,500 gallons of fuel per season, allowing for a transition to radically reduced fuel dependence, operating costs, and emissions in Rocky Mountain National Park.
This was a competitive bid win for IPS. As off-grid system specialists, we’re thrilled to have one of our systems in such a world-renowned park.
In 2020, Xanterra Travel Collection won a Larimer County Environmental Stewardship Award for the solar array and other sustainability initiatives at the Trail Ridge Store.
Read more about solar power in America’s National Parks.
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