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About 100 years ago, President Teddy Roosevelt referred to Yellowstone as a “wonderland,” and said, “The creation and preservation of such a great natural playground, in the interest of our people as a whole, is a credit to the nation.”
Today, we can see that Roosevelt’s wonderland remains as pristine and protected. Toyota is helping preserve Yellowstone for generations to come. Toyota’s long-standing partnership with Yellowstone and the Yellowstone Park Foundation has provided its vehicles, technology and sustainability expertise toward that goal.
Toyota is extremely proud to provide sustainable power for one of the most remote, pristine areas in the United States.
At the Lamar Buffalo Ranch field campus in Yellowstone National Park, an innovative distributed energy system that combines solar power generation with re-used Camry Hybrid battery packs came online earlier this year. The result? Reliable, sustainable, zero emission power to the ranger station and education center for the first time since it was founded in 1907.
Solar panels generate the renewable electricity stored within the 208 nickel-metal hydride battery packs that once powered Toyota Camry hybrids. The used battery packs were recovered from Toyota dealers across the United States. On an annual basis, the solar system generates enough electricity to power six average U.S. households for a year, or plenty of power for the five buildings on the ranch campus. The hybrid batteries provide 85 kilowatt-hours of energy storage to ensure continuous power, as the system charges and discharges. Onsite microhydro turbine systems, capturing energy from a neighboring stream, are scheduled to join the power mix in 2016.
The Yellowstone system is the first of its kind to extend the useful life of hybrid vehicle batteries for commercial energy storage. Hybrid batteries typically reach the end of their usable life in automobile-grade applications with significant remaining power storage capacity. Engineers expect this type of use to double the overall lifespan of the hybrid batteries.
By working together with Yellowstone Park, Toyota hopes to continue providing a home where the buffalo roam, where the deer and the antelope play, and other wildlife have a place to call their own.
To learn more about Yellowstone National Park sustainability initiatives please visit www.nps.gov/yell/parkmgmt/sustainabilitycontents.htm.