Yellowstone National Park’s diverse wildlife and geology attracts millions of visitors each year including our very own Heidi Farmer. Heidi, PR maven for Kohler’s Global Power Group, took a trip to Yellowstone National Park this past summer to check out the KOHLER generators already powering important facilities throughout the 2,219,789 acre park.
Q: What brought you to Yellowstone National Park on behalf of Kohler Generators?
A: KOHLER’s plumbing group and I made the trip to meet with key personnel from the park to discuss and learn more about current and future projects happening at park properties. After several conference calls, nothing can beat an in-person meeting.
Q: Have you ever been there before?
A: I have. I was there when I was eight for a family vacation. It’s an absolutely gorgeous place. I highly recommend it. Interestingly, my family trip was right after a huge wildfire had devastated a large portion of the park. And to go back, to be there after that devastation and see that there’s new life and plants, it gives you hope.
Q: No interesting encounters with wild animals?
A: No, but while visiting one generator site, I was told not to wander too far into the trees as we were in peak bear country. I did see lots of buffalo and deer though.
Q: What are some of the programs that Yellowstone offers?
A: The Yellowstone Park Foundation is the fundraising arm for the park and they do a lot of different activities to get people, including corporations like KOHLER, involved with the park. They are the main organization we work with. Then you have The Yellowstone Association which focuses on education. They have exhibits and publications for the park, and they host a variety of classes educating people about nature, the environment and the park.
Q: What kind of power does Yellowstone rely on?
A: Primarily they have utility power from Montana, but just like most of the country, it is an aging grid. Not to mention that the terrain makes it difficult to route power lines. We lost power twice while we were staying in the park! There’s nothing more heroic than seeing a man running down the hallway with a flash light to check if someone’s stuck in the elevator.
Yellowstone also relies on solar power, including the The Lamar Buffalo Ranch Field Campus. The ranch is an educational center that’s completely off the grid. There are three Kohler units there that backup the solar panels and serve as primary power during the winter. At one point in time, the Lamar Buffalo Ranch was completely on generator power.
Q: What does having Kohler generators mean to Yellowstone?
Reliability. They’re built to be reliable backup systems that can supply power despite what Mother Nature has to offer. Two of the park’s KOHLER generators are more than 20 years old! That says a lot. We have a history with the park and are looking forward to a bright future.