Duke Energy is proposing a microgrid for a communications tower in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The tower, located atop Mt. Sterling in Haywood County, enables emergency communications for the park, and it is currently powered by an overhead line. The microgrid would consist of a 10-kilowatt solar array using a Fluidic 95-kilowatt-hour, zinc-air battery. The change would allow acres of right-of-way now needed for the overhead line to be returned to their natural state. The standalone generator also promises to be less expensive and more reliable than connection to a substation. In the current setup, if a power pole goes down, Duke has to rent a helicopter for repairs. Duke already runs two microgrids, one at the utility’s research facility in Gaston County and another at a Charlotte fire station. The power station would cost less than $1 million and take only a couple months to install, but the plans must first hurdle regulatory review under the National Environmental Policy Act and the National Historic Preservation Act and secure the approval of the National Park Service. Approval from the North Carolina Utilities Commission came after the scheduled public hearing was canceled because all prior community feedback had been nothing but glowing.