Preserving America's History

Preserving America's History

Monticello relies on Cat® power


Thomas Jefferson’s home, Monticello, a United Nations World Heritage Site and National Historic Landmark, is a world-class museum and an academic think tank. It is also the best-documented and best-preserved plantation in North America. Restored to its circa 1809 appearance, Monticello serves as the venue for a variety of public programs throughout the year. It holds one of the country’s oldest and largest collections of historic artifacts, preserving everything from 18th century paintings to Jefferson’s riding boots and documents.

High humidity and falling temperatures can damage the landmark, so reliable power is extremely important for preserving the house and the collections in it. Also, more than 440,000 people visit Monticello annually and a reliable source of power is important to a comfortable, enjoyable experience.


Cat backup power is an essential element in the Mountaintop Project, a historic restoration to return Monticello to the way it looked to Thomas Jefferson. See how Caterpillar is helping to give visitors a look at this “essay in architecture.”


Monticello relies on power systems from Caterpillar to supply emergency backup power. Cat dealer Carter Machinery provided technical support, commissioning, and testing for a 500 kW Cat® C15 ACERT™ diesel generator set and three automatic transfer switches (ATS). Equipped with a sound-attenuated, weather-protected enclosure to minimize noise, the generator set is supported by a 48-hour sub-base diesel tank to protect the house and its possessions in the event of an unexpected power loss.

Monticello’s Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies at nearby Montalto hosts academic lectures, conferences, and dinner receptions for a global audience. A 350 kW Cat C15 diesel gen set and (ATS) supply backup power.


Monticello is located in an elevated, forested region, and power outages are not uncommon. Storms and falling trees tend to interrupt power anywhere from six to 10 times per year due to hurricanes and ice storms that down power lines. “Our partnership with Caterpillar and Carter Machinery means that we are doing the very best to safeguard this world treasure and preserve it for future generations,” says Ann Taylor, executive vice president of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation.

Read the in-depth details by downloading the Power Profile.



Caterpillar Electric Power is excited to introduce you to our latest generator set sizing software, Cat Electric Power SpecSizer.

Learn More

C15 ACERT Generator Set

C15 ACERT Generator Set

Producing reliable power from 365 to 550 kVA, our C15 ACERT diesel generator sets are built for standby and prime applications and built to your power standards. Our integrated control system, including Cat UPS, ATS, and switchgear, keeps your power constant under any conditions.

View Product