North America, On Site Renewables, Solar

Arizona’s Grand Canyon goes solar

Eighty-four photovoltaic solar panels are now operational on and around the Grand Canyon Visitor Center in Arizona, US, following an effort by local electricity utility Arizona Public Service (APS) to bring together two of the state’s most recognizable features – the Grand Canyon and the sun.

The PV panels provide the building with approximately 18 kW of electricity, sufficient to offset around 30% of the Center’s total electricity use. Located both on the Visitor Center’s roof and on ground-mounted platforms adjacent to the building, the panels will be seen by the more than 4.5 million people who visit the Canyon each year.

‘This project is symbolic of the commitment we have at APS to environmental protection, sustainability and to make Arizona the solar capital of the world,’ APS President and Chief Operating Officer Don Robinson at a celebration event hosted by the National Park Service. ‘We selected the Grand Canyon for this project because of the opportunity that exists there to educate so many people from around the world about renewable energy.’

Funding for the panels and their installation came from APS customers through APS’ Green Rates and the Arizona Corporation Commission’s Renewable Energy Standard. APS, Arizona’s largest electricity utility, serves about 1.1 million customers in 11 of the state’s 15 counties.