Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

April 19, 2021

Dan Keefe | Brian Nearing
(518) 486-1868 |

New York State Parks Announces Grant Cottage State Historic Site Going Off the Grid

New Solar Panel/Battery Array Provides All Needed Electricity

Project Supports State's Clean Energy Goals for Solar and Energy Storage


The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) announced today that the Grant Cottage State Historic Site, a 19th century mountaintop residence where U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant completed his memoirs shortly before his death, has joined the renewable energy era. A new solar powered micro-grid is now providing 100 percent of the electricity needed by the two-story residence and visitors center at the remote site on Mount McGregor in Saratoga County.

"This project reflects our commitment at State Parks to grow the use of renewable energy and reduce reliance on energy from fossil fuels and its climate-changing emissions," said State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid. "Grant Cottage is now part of the solution under the state Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act to derive 70 percent of the state's energy from renewable sources by 2030."

Doreen M. Harris, President and CEO, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority said, "The Grant Cottage State Historic Site project demonstrates historically significant structures can be brought up to modern day standards through the incorporation of clean energy resources such as solar and energy storage thereby ensuring the preservation of these important historic landmarks. The state is leaving no stone unturned in reviewing its building stock—from commercial to residential to historical—in our fight on climate change, and I commend NYS Parks for its leadership role in this work."

The $400,000 project includes 90 solar panels with a rated output of 34.2 kilowatts, as well as 48 batteries for storage of power for later use. The battery storage system will enable Grant's Cottage to become the first State Park facility to disconnect completely from the electric energy grid. State Parks staff of trained solar technicians performed the installation, which includes a generator for emergency use. Training assistance was provided by staff from Hudson Valley Community College.

The project is supported by funding from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority's On-site Energy Manager Program.

Previously, the Grant Cottage site was receiving electricity through utility lines from the nearby former Mount McGregor Correctional Facility.

Senator Daphne Jordan said, "Grant's Cottage is a beloved U.S. National Historic Landmark, State Historical site, and an incredible cultural and regional treasure that I'm proud to have in my 43rd Senate District. Today's announcement that Grant's Cottage will be going entirely off the grid and be the first State Park facility to do so is a fantastic development. The fact that Hudson Valley Community College, which is also part of my Senate District, was part of this special project by contributing training assistance is also wonderful to see. I commend State Parks Commissioner Kulleseid, and NYSERDA President Harris, for this successful, forward-looking collaboration that will utilize renewable energy to help preserve our cherished past for the benefit, education, and enjoyment of future generations."

Assembly member Carrie Woerner said, "This project is an exciting blend of the past and the future. I applaud this creative and practical innovation using current technology to help sustain this important historic site.

The 43-acre Saratoga County property includes a two-story residence where Grant, diagnosed with terminal throat cancer, went to complete his memoirs for six weeks immediately prior to his death in July 1885.

Open to the public seasonally by the Friends of the Ulysses S. Grant Cottage, visitors can tour its first-floor original furnishings, decorations, and personal items belonging to Grant. Tours are scheduled to resume for the season in May 2021.

The site was named a National Historic Landmark in January 2021 by the National Park Service.

Since 2012, Parks has installed 33 solar array projects at facilities across the state, and the end of this year will cover about 15 percent of its total statewide energy consumption though solar power. By 2027, Parks has a goal of covering half of its electricity needs through renewable energy.

Governor Cuomo's ambitious climate goals as mandated in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (Climate Act) puts the state on a path to a carbon-neutral economy across all sectors. The Climate Act also establishes a goal to achieve a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040.

The State's ambitious clean energy targets include installing nine gigawatts of offshore wind by 2035, six gigawatts of distributed solar by 2025 and three gigawatts of energy storage by 2030. It builds on New York's unprecedented ramp-up of clean energy including over $4 billion invested in 91 large-scale renewable projects across the state, supporting more than 150,000 jobs in New York's clean energy sector in 2019, and 1,800 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011.

New York will build on this progress and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent from 1990 levels by 2050, while ensuring that disadvantaged communities receive at least 35 percent with a goal of 40 percent of the benefits of clean energy investments. The state has a 2025 energy efficiency target of reducing on-site energy consumption by 185 trillion BTUs of end-use energy savings.

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 parks, historic sites, recreational trails, golf courses, boat launches and more, which were visited by a record 78 million in 2020. A recent study found that New York State Parks generates $5 billion in park and visitor spending, which supports nearly 54,000 jobs and over $2.8 billion in additional state GDP. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit, connect with us on Facebook, or follow on Instagram Twitter or on the State Parks blog.