Off-Grid Education Amphitheater Goes Solar

The Highlands Center for Natural History recently had a renewable energy system installed to power their 50-seat natural outdoor amphitheater. A solar electric system offered a perfect solution because of the Center’s remote, off-grid location and using clean, renewable energy supports the facility’s mandate to help children and adults discover the wonders of nature and become wise caretakers of the land.

Prescott, Arizona – June 8, 2004 [] “We wanted to encourage more use of renewable energy by demonstrating how it works, through educational programs on site, and by providing information to visitors,” said Nichole Trushell, Executive Director of the Highlands Center for Natural History. The Center has a 1.2 kW solar installation that includes Unisolar PV L64 solar panels, Xantrex Inverter/Chargers, Trojan L16 battery bank, LED high-efficiency pathway lighting, compact lighting and a 12 kW Kohler propane generator connected to the SW Inverter/Chargers and set in auto-start mode “We installed two Xantrex SW 5548s in the first phase of the project,” said Jon Walker of Sun Amp Power Company. “They are being used to provide power for the amphitheater, the water and irrigation systems and lighting for pathways.” Since the amphitheatre is not connected to utility power, its renewable power system includes a backup generator for times when there is not enough solar power. The Inverter/Chargers also ensure the batteries that store power maintain maximum charge, while minimizing the generator’s run-time. The system was installed by Sun Amp Power Company of Phoenix, Arizona. The Center will soon be building a new 4,000 square foot learning center and more solar modules and Inverter/Chargers will be added as the renewable energy system expands to accommodate the additional power requirements. The Highlands Center has encouraged the study of the natural sciences in an outdoor setting for more than a decade. The Center’s programs and materials reach over 10,000 children and adults throughout central Arizona.
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