The Detroit Zoological Society (DZS) will be powered by 100 percent Michigan-made renewable energy through DTE Energy’s MIGreenPower program.The move will offset 7,425 metric tons of carbon dioxide, which is equivalent to the carbon sequestered by 8,740 acres of U.S. forests in one year. DTE will source the renewable energy from three new wind parks that will come online in late 2020.
Courtesy of Detroit Zoo
“Our commitment to sustainability is integrated into everything we do, from our environmentally responsible operations to our community-wide education programs,” said Ron Kagan, DZS executive director and CEO.
The DZS has won four green awards for its sustainability initiatives and achievements and is a nationally recognized leader in environmental education. Sustainable design features at the Detroit Zoo include permeable pavement that diverts rainwater from storm water drains, an anaerobic digester (the first zoo-based system of its kind) that converts herbivore animal waste and food scraps into compost and energy, and the use of solar/electric hybrid golf carts and bicycles for on-site transportation. The Detroit Zoo is also the first zoo in the country to install a Smartflower, an all-in-one ground-mounted solar panel system that generates more than 4,000 kilowatts of electricity annually.
The zoo has also eliminated the sale of single-use plastic water bottles as well as the use of plastic bags, straws and lids. The DZS has worked with DTE to complete energy efficiency upgrades in more than 50 of the Zoo’s buildings and to install Zoo-wide LED lighting.
DTE first launched MIGreenPower in April 2017 and introduced an expanded version of the program for large corporate and industrial customers in January. It is part of the company’s commitment to reduce carbon emissions 80 percent by 2040. DTE is developing additional MIGreenPower programs to meet diverse customer needs.