Partnering with KCP& L’s solar panel initiative, 9 roofs all around the Zoo house solar panels are up and running right now. In 2016, 242,157 kWh were produced from these solar panels. That is the equivalent of 25.1 homes electrical use for 1 year.
Helzberg Penguin Plaza is home to several solar panels that cover half of the 19,000 square foot exhibit’s roof and we also installed a ground level panel so that visitors could see what the panels look like and how they work. Because we are so far north of the equator, our solar panels must also incorporate mirrors to reflect sunlight when the sun is low on the horizon.
Solar panels were installed on our restaurant, Tuxedo Grill as well. Those panels that will sit atop the restaurant will generate 14 % of the power being used by it.
Zoo Director Randy Wisthoff is dedicated to the use of solar power. “As a conservation organization, the Kansas City Zoo is always seeking to use renewable energy. From an energy security and sustainability perspective, it seems logical for the Zoo to make the most of solar power technologies. One of the great things about solar power is that it produces its greatest output as demand spikes. Eleven buildings at the Zoo will utilize this resource capturing energy and conserving energy at peak needed times, saving the Zoo money and saving the Earth’s resources.”