Solar panels for harvesting energy from the sun are a common sight in urban areas, but they have been showing up increasingly in more remote locales in recent years, the Arizona Daily Star reported.

Case in point: Drivers passing the Molino Basin Campground along the Catalina Highway might spot a large solar panel on a pole rising high above the surrounding trees and wonder about its purpose.

It supplies power for a composting restroom in the campground, at the 5.7-mile point on the highway in the Catalina Mountains north of Tucson.

“At Molino Basin, we have two solar arrays,” installed a few years ago, said Heidi Schewel, spokeswoman for the Coronado National Forest. The forest manages the campground and other parts of the Catalina Mountains.

“The larger, taller panel supplies power to the composting restroom — for lights and for fans for the composting process,” Schewel said. “The smaller, shorter panel supports a portable battery bank on a trailer we provide for power for the campground host.”

She said another smaller panel had been installed at a sign near the entrance to the campground to power a light for illuminating a map.

“It is currently inoperable due to vandalism and will be replaced,” Schewel said.

Other solar panels have been put into operation over the years in the mountain range.

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