Sunrise light on a grove of tufa towers emerging from the water of Mono Lake with soft green and dusty-red wild grasses in the foreground, Canada geese in the shallow water with reflections of the rocky towers, and desert hills in the distance.

Mono Lake visitor center gets closer to hooking up solar

Here’s a promising update for those of you following the recent story in the Los Angeles Times regarding dozens of solar energy facilities with national parks and forests that are waiting for grid connections while Southern California Edison hashes out contracts.

Solar panel array at the Forest Service Visitor Center at Mono Lake
Solar panels at the Mono Basin Scenic Area Visitor Center were installed on the south side of the building. Photo by Arya Degenhardt.

According to the LA Times, “The Forest Service said Friday that it expected to have its two projects—including a solar facility at the Mono Lake visitors center—connected to the grid soon.” The Mono Basin Scenic Area Visitor Center’s solar array was installed in June 2011 as part of a federal green energy stimulus project, but the panels have not been in operation due to an impasse in contract negotiations. It is unfortunate that with severe cuts to the Forest Service budget that the financial savings from solar energy generation couldn’t help with basic operating costs as planned.


  1. That is an astonishing story. “Not connected to the grid” means not supplying power to those very government facilities carbon-free since June 2011. The heck with worrying about how to compensate the buy-back of excess energy (contract negotiations – talk about monopolies). Geez, just hook the things up and start using the free energy that those panels are making (yet spitting out the exhaust pipe). We drown in bureaucracy. Hope they connect the wires soon.

  2. The update says could be agreed upon in a few weeks, but “it’s” been going on for 3 years. Even major league baseball can get it done faster that this! How about an arbitrator??