Here Comes the Sun!
The Zoo now has a new, 31-kilowatt solar power installation on the roof of its Safari Gift Shop at the South Entrance. It is the primary power supply source for the gift shop.
The system’s 96, 3 x 5-foot photovoltaic modules (panels) produce enough electricity to keep three to five homes powered up year round and is expected to save the Zoo $4,500 in net average annual energy costs over the system’s 25-year warranty period ($111,740 total over 25 years). It also offers a source of pollution-free power generation.
Real-time View of Power Generated
Visitors to the Zoo can view real-time and cumulative generation and the system’s air quality benefits (emission reductions made possible by the system) online or from a new digital kiosk found at the South Arrival Experience bridge leading into the Zoo.
StraightUp Solar, a St. Louis-based solar energy integration company, donated the system to the Zoo. Founded in 2006, StraightUp Solar has installed multiple solar systems with a total generating capacity of three megawatts.
Among Most Efficient Panels Available
The Zoo’s Sunpower E20 monocrystalline solar energy panels are currently the most efficient at converting sunlight into energy when compared with other conventional photovoltaic collector types. This grid-tied, batteryless design ensures that all of the electricity is immediately used on-site at the Zoo. For more information on how solar systems work visit http://www.nrel.gov/solar/.
StraightUp Solar is offering a special $250 customer discount plus an additional $250 donation to the Saint Louis Zoo for each new system purchased now through Oct. 31. To receive these benefits, customers must simply post a photo of themselves standing before the Zoo's new solar array/kiosk and Zoo sign to both the Saint Louis Zoo and StraightUp Solar Facebook sites.