The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has remote field stations in Arizona, California, Utah, Idaho, and Alaska. This photograph shows the field station at Red Cliffs Campground in Utah's Cedar City District. Photovoltaic power systems allow the people working in these remote areas to have the convenience of continuous power. "The comfort and convenience of having 24-hour continuous power has been greatly appreciated by the users," said Trent Duncan of BLM, the mechanical engineer for the project.
A standardized system design based on existing BLM systems was developed for the BLM campgrounds. The size of the system was based on past experience with similar-sized facilities. The 384 W PV system makes it possible for the BLM to provide a campground host in remote areas. The sites previously had no electricity. When a host has been present at a site, annual facility repairs due to vandalism have dropped by more than $10,000. Other benefits of having an on-site host include an increase in fee compliance from 40% to 95%, a reduction in illegal activities, and an increased adherence to camp rules regarding quiet time, the number of campers, and the protection of natural resources.
Initial investment: $64,000 for 8 systems overall
Payback period: Less than 1 year
Cost savings: $80,000 (as a result of reduced vandalism)