The Four Presidents on Mt. Rushmore Look Upon a More Sustainable Future
Mount Rushmore National Memorial in the Black Hills of South Dakota will have the second largest solar installation in the state. The new Thomas Jefferson Solar Canopy was installed by park concessioner Xanterra Travel Collection which operates the parking facility. The photovoltaic array on the top level of the parking structure will generate over half of the electricity used by the gift shop and restaurant at Mount Rushmore. A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held on Earth Day, April, 22, 2019.
Six electric vehicle charging stations are planned to be installed within the next month. Tesla donated three Tesla chargers and three universal Level 2 charging stations that will be free for visitors to use. There is a fee to park at Mount Rushmore National Memorial which is valid for the calendar year issued.
The 346 kW capacity solar array includes 975 solar panels mounted on a carport structure on the top level of the western parking garage. “As many of Xanterra’s national park operations are literally at the end of the electric transmission line, renewable energy options such as solar provide us with reliable power while also decreasing our overall carbon emissions,” said Andrew Todd, President and CEO of Xanterra.
The 6th annual Black Hills Sound of Silence Tesla Rally will be held in nearby Custer, SD on May 17-19, 2019.