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.
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.