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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Historic carousel goes solar

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications


The carousel pavilion is getting solar panels this week! There’s a myth that solar energy doesn’t work in Seattle’s famous gray skies, so we’re especially excited for this project that will not only provide us with renewable energy, but also serve as a very public demonstration that solar energy is a viable option in our community.

Big thanks to Seattle City Light for making this project possible with a generous $70,000 grant from their green power program, which is funded by voluntary contributions from customers in support of renewable energy education.

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 9,000 kilowatt-hours number has double significance—according to Seattle City Light, it’s also the annual amount of electricity needed to power the average Seattle home, making this project a great renewable energy model for local homeowners.

Keep in mind that the carousel will be closed today through the first week of February to accommodate the installation, but as soon as that’s done, you’ll be able to take a clean, green ride.

Here at the zoo, we are constantly trying to improve our environmental performance to reduce our impact on the resources we all must share—humans and animals alike. From the LEED gold certified Zoomazium, to the penguin exhibit that saves 3 million gallons of water a year, to the most inventive compost program in town—Zoo Doo—we’re always looking for ways to reduce our carbon footprint and make our operations more sustainable. The solar carousel project is just one of our latest efforts in sustainability. Keep an eye on our Green Zoo page and this blog for updates on the latest green projects.

Carousel photos by Woodland Park Zoo. Zoomazium photo by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo.

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