Built at 10,200 ft, the 56.16k-watt photovoltaic generating plant with battery storage and generator backup is among the top 10 in the nation in size and scale. The new system is designed to reduce runtime and fuel costs in powering the Costilla Lodge at the ranch. The project was challenging due to the altitude, remote location and engineering difficulties involved in providing adequate solar power to a modern Lodge at a high altitude.
“The new system harvests energy from the sun and stores it in the batteries for overnight power supply,” explained Glenn Gallipoli, 310 Solar Energy
president. “Because the energy harvest depends on direct sunlight, the diesel generator is on standby to charge the batteries during cloudy days.”
has already taken several significant steps in moving from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources in hopes that others will follow suit. “The Lodge has always been off the electric grid, and now it is almost completely off fossil fuels for the generators that have historically powered it,” Gallipoli commented. “Our companies have similar missions, so together we have developed a project that is of national significance.”
“310 Solar Energy [...] provided us with a functioning system allowing us to go from running our generators 24-hours a day, to shutting them down for 90 per cent of the summer,” said Vermejo Park Ranch manager Mark Kossler. “We are very pleased with the outcome of this project.”
The ranch is a hunting, fishing and eco-tourism resort. The newly-built Costilla Lodge was constructed using the ranch’s own timber and stone and has received a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver rating by the US Green Building Council.