Cincinnati Zoo Breaks Floor on Largest Publicly Accessible City Photo voltaic Array within the U.S.

New array will assist the Zoo surpass its already-ambitious internet zero vitality objectives

CINCINNATI (February 14, 2024)Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Backyard broke floor earlier this month on a 2.8 MW Melink Photo voltaic photo voltaic array that may present shade for vehicles and buses in its Euclid Ave parking zone whereas producing energy for the Zoo and its neighbors! The Zoo has loved many days “off the grid” because it put in a 1.56 MW photo voltaic array over its fundamental parking zone in 2011.  This extra array, which can steal the title of largest publicly accessible city photo voltaic array within the nation from the Vine St. array, will transfer the Zoo nearer to its purpose to be Internet Zero by 2025.

euclid lot array | Zoo Photo voltaic Challenge 2024 B-Roll.mp4 | Cincinnati Zoo’s Photo voltaic Story (pdf)

“Now we have massive plans for photo voltaic in 2024,” mentioned Mark Fisher, Cincinnati Zoo’s VP of services and sustainability. “Photo voltaic know-how, and our understanding of find out how to use it, has advanced dramatically since we erected our first photo voltaic array in 2006 on the Zoo’s training constructing. This new array is an effective instance of that.  It should occupy much less bodily house however will generate nearly twice as a lot energy as the present array. As soon as it’s on-line, two thirds of the Zoo’s electrical wants will come from our parking tons.”

Additional photo voltaic panels may even be shared.  As an alternative of paying to ship a half-empty crate of panels to the Zoo, further panels have been ordered to fill the container. The 165 kW of panels might be donated to the Zoo’s Group Photo voltaic Resiliency Program (CSRP) and used to put in arrays in Avondale, East Worth Hill, and Bond Hill.

“Our purpose is to share the advantages of solar energy with the neighborhood,” mentioned Fisher. “Along with offering energy and constructing smaller arrays at church buildings, neighborhood facilities, and faculties round city, our hope is that simply seeing, and parking beneath, our massive arrays will encourage Zoo guests to put in photo voltaic panels at dwelling.”

The Zoo’s sustainable vitality efforts transcend metropolis limits.  A big portion of its 600-acre farm in Warren County is now dwelling to one of many largest photo voltaic arrays in Southwest Ohio.  The renewable vitality generated by this 30 MW array might be purchased by corporations within the area to assist them attain their sustainability objectives.  Grazing sheep might be launched this spring to maintain the soil on this a part of the farm wholesome for manufacturing and to get rid of mowing emissions. For the well being of the ecosystem, the Zoo will plant 5 acres of pollinator habitat on the land surrounding this photo voltaic array.

Different photo voltaic initiatives deliberate for 2024 embrace the set up of an array for the South Rift Affiliation of Land House owners (SORALO) in Kenya. The Zoo has partnered with SORALO for over a decade to comprehend shared coexistence objectives and is happy to contribute a much-needed supply of renewable vitality for the neighborhood.

Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Backyard opens at 10 a.m. and closes at 5 p.m. each day. Go to CincinnatiZoo.org to plan a go to or to be taught extra in regards to the Zoo’s dedication to sustainability.

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