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Contact: B.G. Horvat, 252-728-2250, ext. 3014
HARKERS ISLAND, NC – Please join Cape Lookout National Seashore as we open the lighthouse for climbs and celebrate the completion of a photovoltaic system that will power the lighthouse, Keepers Quarters, and related utility systems.
On Tuesday, May 16 at 10 AM at the base of the Cape Lookout Lighthouse, we will cut a ribbon to acknowledge the new photovoltaic system and then kick off the summer season with a climb of the lighthouse. Joining us are friends from the Core Sound Museum, Island Express Ferry Service, and the United States Coast Guard. On hand will be the new acting Superintendent, Jeff West, who comes to North Carolina from New River Gorge National River (West Virginia), as well as many national seashore volunteers who help ensure public access to this national treasure. We will also say goodbye to acting Superintendent Mike Gauthier who will return to Yosemite, California.
If you are planning to attend this event, please R.S.V.P. by May 15, 2017. Ferries will begin to depart for the lighthouse dock at 8:45AM and continue to run every half hour after that. The plan is for everyone to commute together over on one boat. Light snacks and refreshments will be available. Please R.S.V.P. by email, firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 252-728-2250 x 3014.
Solar Energy Coming to the Cape Lookout Lighthouse
Cape Lookout National Seashore is excited to announce the completion of our Photovoltaic Solar Electric System at the Cape Lookout Lighthouse and Keepers Quarters area. Until now, this historic site was powered by a combination of diesel generators and shore power. With the completion of this system, the lighthouse area is now entirely off-grid and independent of fossil fuel energy. The establishment of this system will also allow the National Park Service to partner with the United States Coast Guard for the sustainable and reliable operation of the light beacon.
The new solar-driven system provides the park with safety and greener environmental benefits, namely the end of labor intensive maintenance and care of generators in a remote location, along with the precarious transportation of diesel fuel over the Core Sound waterway. Also, the visitor experience is now enhanced at the Cape Lookout Light Station Visitor Center, the lighthouse, and the Keepers Quarters Museum with the absence of industrial noise pollution and diesel exhaust emissions that had been present before.
This project was managed by DOT Construction (Morehead City, NC) and installation was completed by PowerHouse (Newport, NC). The solar farm contains 60 panels at 300 Watts each, for a total of 18,000 Watts of power. There is a battery storage bank totaling 102.5 Kw/h of reserve power. The system does account for emergencies or times of extreme demand by incorporating a 20 Kw diesel generator that will only run when called upon by the system.
This new Solar Electric System complements two others that have already proven themselves over the past year. They each contain 30 panels and one inverter. One system is at the Harkers Island Maintenance Facility and the other is at the Cape Lookout Light Station Visitor Center. The system located at the Maintenance Facility is grid-tied, meaning that the system helps to offset our daily energy consumption. The Light Station Visitor Center system is off-grid and supplies all necessary power to support this location.
Cape Lookout National Seashore is currently pursuing a partnership with the United States Coast Guard that would incorporate the Cape Lookout Lighthouse Beacon into this new photovoltaic system, providing power directly from our off-grid solar system to illuminate the iconic Cape Lookout Lighthouse Navigational Beacon. The solar farm is more than capable of supplying reliable power to this historic staple of the Crystal Coast. The park’s photovoltaic system is superior in that it includes backup power and redundancy which shore power does not currently provide.