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Contact: Shannan Marcak, 928-638-7958
Grand Canyon, AZ. – The National Park Service (NPS) and Arizona Public Service (APS) will be hosting a public event on Monday, May 18, at 11:00 a.m., to celebrate the installation of eighty-four photovoltaic solar panels at the Grand Canyon Visitor Center (Visitor Center).
The celebration will take place at the Visitor Center on the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park (GRCA) and will be hosted by GRCA Superintendent Steve Martin and APS President and Chief Executive Officer Don Robinson. During the event, the two will dedicate the new photovoltaic (PV) system and will commemorate the partnership that made the installation possible.
“This partnership between APS and the Grand Canyon National Park has provided the state with an opportunity to educate, inspire and step forward as a true leader in renewable energy,” said Barbara Lockwood, APS’ Manager of Renewable Energy.
Located both on the Visitor Center’s roof and on ground-mounted platforms adjacent to the building, the solar panels bring together two of Arizona’s most famous features—the Grand Canyon and the sun—to produce approximately 18 kilowatts of electricity. This is enough power to offset 30 percent of the Visitor Center’s electricity use.
The panels will also provide a unique opportunity for Grand Canyon’s 4.5 million visitors each year to learn about this clean energy alternative. An exhibit inside the Visitor Center and signage next to the platform-mounted panels will inform visitors about the mechanics of solar energy and about how Arizona’s abundant sunshine could make the state the solar capital of the world. These exhibits will also provide visitors with an understanding of how they, themselves, can help increase the amount of electricity generated by the sun. A monitor will even allow them to watch in real-time how much electricity the sun is generating for the Visitor Center.
According to Park Superintendent Steve Martin, “This photovoltaic system will not only create a more sustainable future for Grand Canyon National Park, but will allow APS and the National Park Service to share with park visitors the vision of a more sustainable future for all of us.”
Funding for the panels and their installation came from APS customers through APS’ Green Rates and the Arizona Corporation Commission’s Renewable Energy Standard.
To learn more about this event, please contact GRCA Public Affairs Specialist Shannan Marcak at 928-638-7958, or APS Communications Associate Jenna Henry at 602-250-4403. To learn more about the new PV solar panels and exhibits at the Visitor Center, please contact GRCA Chief of Interpretation Judy Hellmich-Bryan at 928-638-7760.