United States

US zoos going ape over solar power

The United States’ second-oldest zoo, the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, has completed installing a four-acre solar canopy that is believed to be the largest publicly accessible urban solar project in the country.
US zoos going ape over solar power

The $11 million array, which consists of 6,400 solar panels and has a total capacity of 1.56 MW, was installed over a concrete parking lot. The zoo, which opened in the US state of Ohio in 1875, expects the array to provide about 20 percent of its energy needs once it’s turned on in mid-April, generating roughly enough electricity to power 200 homes a year.

At the same, the new structure will provide shade for 800 of the 1,000 parking spots near the zoo’s main entrance, while also helping the popular attraction curb its annual $700,000 energy bill.

“When we talk about the unknown future of energy policy and energy rates, we can know that 20 percent of our load is locked in and accounted for,” said Mark Fisher, senior director of facilities, planning and sustainability at the zoo, which is visited by more than 1 million patrons a year.

While Cincinnati can now boast the largest urban solar array in the country its zoo isn’t the first in the US to embrace solar power.

In 2010, Tampa, Florida's Lowry Park Zoo attached 10 photovoltaic cells to its shade structure, and another 55 to the frames of the nearby elephant night house.

The $800,000 project was funded by the Tampa Electric Co., and a grant from the Florida High Tech Corridor. The installation creates about 15 KW of energy -- enough o power the zoo’s Treetop Skyfari sky ride.

The zoon now plans to create an interactive learning center to educate its guests about solar power and other renewable energy sources. Like, the Cincinnati Zoo, the facility welcomes about 1 million guests a year.

In addition, the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle recently installed a solar power system in its carousel to offset the carousel's electricity use.

The solar panels are expected to produce 9,000 kilowatt-hours annually, enough to offset the electricity required to power the carousel, which completes an average 100,000 rides per year. The project was undertaken in partnership with Seattle City Light.

"Seattle may be known as 'Rain City,' but solar does work here," said City Light Superintendent Jorge Carrasco. "We're excited to support this solar carousel project, to demonstrate very publicly how solar energy options are viable for both home and business use in our community."

The Cincinnati Zoo project was developed by the Melink Corporation which will continue to own and operate the array.

The project was supported by PNC Bank, the local non-profit Uptown Consortium, National Development Council and the zoo’s electric utility, FirstEnergy, with funds from federal renewable energy and economic development tax credits.

For additional information:

Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden

Lowry Park Zoo, Tampa

Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle

Baterías con premio en la gran feria europea del almacenamiento de energía
El jurado de la feria ees (la gran feria europea de las baterías y los sistemas acumuladores de energía) ya ha seleccionado los productos y soluciones innovadoras que aspiran, como finalistas, al gran premio ees 2021. Independientemente de cuál o cuáles sean las candidaturas ganadoras, la sola inclusión en este exquisito grupo VIP constituye todo un éxito para las empresas. A continuación, los diez finalistas 2021 de los ees Award (ees es una de las cuatro ferias que integran el gran evento anual europeo del sector de la energía, The smarter E).