The installation of a large solar array at Kejimkujik National Park announced by Parks Canada in 2021 has been completed and is expected to supply all the electricity used by campers at the site.
Jennifer Eaton, volunteer co-ordinator at Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site, said the installation of 272 solar panels was completed in the spring and is connected to the Nova Scotia Power grid.
Four rows of panels feed power into the grid, offsetting the electricity used by campers.
The panels are located at the site of an old weather station and not near the campground, Eaton told CBC Radio's Information Morning Halifax.
The array is producing more power than anticipated, Eaton said. On average, it is producing 550 kilowatt hours a day.
Eaton said the output from one day at that rate is enough to power an efficient fridge for 18 months.
Eaton said it is estimated the solar array will reduce the park's greenhouse gases by 17 per cent — the equivalent of 96 tonnes of greenhouse gases removed from the system.
"That's a number that might not mean a lot but, if you think about it, it's roughly the idea of taking 30 cars off the road for a year," Eaton said.
"This investment is just wonderful and it's going to be paying off environmentally right away."
Pay for itself
The federal government invested $600,000 into the project, Eaton said, and it will save the park $30,000 a year in electricity.
Eaton said the investment will have paid for itself in 20 years.
Eaton said Parks Canada hopes that people will see what's being done at the park in terms of conservation and take those lessons home with them.
"it's a really important thing that we create a welcoming space that encourages a wide variety of people to come into our protected areas," she said.
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