Mount Carleton Provincial Park has relied upon propane and diesel fuel to provide power to its facility, as it is too far from the electricity grid. However, in recent years, the price of these fuels has been steadily rising, leading to increasing costs for the park. As a way to simultaneously reduce long-term energy costs and meet environmental sustainability goals, the Park has decided to invest in solar energy.
This has resulted in the Maritime’s largest solar PV installation — a 9 kW solar electric system to provide energy for a canteen, 8 camper RV plug-ins, and various public buildings. This is set up as a 48 V system, with twenty-four 2 V Surrette batteries, two Outback Power inverters, as well as charge controllers and other necessary components. In order to accommodate the solar panels, one of the recreation building’s roof had to be expanded. A 17 kW diesel generator provides backup power.
Another 500 W solar PV system is also installed at a remote campsite (Armstrong Brook) to provide electricity for lights and a few fridges. This is set up as a 12 V, 30 A system, with a 3100 W Eliminator inverter. A 12 kW diesel generator provides backup power for this campsite.
The park is considering future RE installations, including solar PV, wind, and micro-hydro to further offset their use of fossil fuels.