Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch
Solar array now powers up to 70% of safari ranch’s Base Camp electrical needs.
Rising electricity costs combined with rising ranch power demand have prompted Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch (NBWR) to harness the ranch’s plentiful sunshine to power its operations.
“A heat wave definitely makes the sun’s strength very evident,” said Tiffany Soechting, NBWR Marketing Director. “For years we’ve used small solar panels to supply power for things like gates and pumps for watering animals. We took the next step to harness our abundant sun and make a big impact.”
NBWR recently completed the installation of covered parking structures featuring roof-mounted solar panels. The system powers the ranch’s Base Camp area which includes admissions, the Safari Trading Post gift shop, the Safari Camp Grill restaurant, and the Walk-A-Bout area which includes all primate habitats and the Aviary Adventure.
“Environmental stewardship is part of our mission,” said Tiffany Soechting, NBWR Marketing Director. “Adding solar power is right in line with our overall conservation goals. It just makes sense to harness energy that, in the hot Texas summers and mild winters, is in plentiful supply. Plus, the parking structures on which they’re mounted provide shade for our visitors’ vehicles.”
The solar array’s annual energy production of 212 MWh currently provides 65% to 70% of the ranch’s Base Camp area’s power needs. NBWR estimates that its savings on electricity costs will enable the installation to pay for itself in six to seven years. At that time, the ranch will consider expanding solar installations into other areas.