Yellowstone considers eco upgrade to off-the-grid buildings

2014-04-09T12:07:00Z 2014-04-09T23:54:14Z Yellowstone considers eco upgrade to off-the-grid buildingsGazette Staff The Billings Gazette
April 09, 2014 12:07 pm  • 

Some old structures in Yellowstone National Park could soon get advanced energy technology.

The Lamar Buffalo Ranch, which is a National Register Historic District, is being proposed for some sustainable energy infrastructure improvements. The work being proposed would conserve energy and water, reduce waste, replace and expand the existing photovoltaic (solar energy) system — including storage batteries and related control equipment — and install a new micro hydro turbine.

Energy monitoring equipment would also be installed to monitor energy use and provide information for education.

The Lamar Buffalo Ranch is located about 10 miles from the nearest electric service. The existing solar energy system was installed in 1996. Many of the components are at the end of their useful life and the buildings are not energy efficient.

The project would increase the renewable energy available for use at the ranch and reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of the current gas-powered generator in operation. The project would also create a model for off-grid environmental stewardship and education in Yellowstone National Park.

The National Park Service is seeking public input to help prepare an environmental assessment to analyze impacts associated with the project. Comments may be submitted on the NPS’ Planning, Environment and Public Comment website at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/LamarEA.

Comments may also be hand-delivered during normal business hours to the mailroom in the park’s Administration Building in Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyo., or mailed to: Compliance Office Attn: Lamar Buffalo Ranch Sustainable Energy EA, P.O. Box 168, Yellowstone National Park, WY, 82190. Comments will not be accepted by fax, email, or in any other way. All comments must be received by midnight on May 9.

Copyright 2014 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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