DNR state parks help reduce carbon footprint | Alexandria Echo Press | Alexandria, Minnesota
Several Minnesota state parks are replacing old gas guzzlers with electric cars, installing solar panels that help generate electricity for many of its park buildings and visitor centers and rehabbing those buildings to use less energy.
At Wild River State Park, an hour’s drive north of the Twin Cities, thermal panels are used to heat water at its campground showers. A solar system was installed to generate electricity.
On a sunny day the ground mounted panels just north of the park office generate more than enough electricity for the office. Any electricity generated in excess of the building’s needs flows back into the electric grid and is credited to the park to reduce electric charges on cloudy days and at night.
Over the course of a year the solar panels are projected to provide for all of the park office’s electrical needs. Since solar-generated electricity is a renewable source of energy, the park will be able to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions -- a contributing factor to global warming.
Wild River is one example but throughout Minnesota, the parks and trails system is generating enough electricity to prevent 225 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year, enough to take 39 cars off the road. [At a nickel per ton at the now-defunct Chicago Climate Hoax Exchange, that's over $11 in value!]