Add the Columbus (Ohio) Zoo & Aquarium to the roster of U.S. zoos moving in a green direction. The zoo said it had selected Third Sun Solar, of Athens, Ohio, to install a solar power system on its grounds in 2012.
Details on the size of the planned installation weren’t revealed – and might be awaiting design finalization – but the zoo has big ambitions. It said it hopes to “host one of the largest nonprofit solar energy systems in the nation – perhaps the largest solar zoo installation” in the country.
Columbus would do well to simply build the biggest solar zoo installation in the state of Ohio. Already, the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden boasts a 1.56-megawatt system that covers 800 of its 1,000 parking spaces – amounting to about 4 acres of total coverage. The combined output of the Cincinnati system, inaugurated earlier this year, was expected to provide about 20 percent of the zoo’s power needs.
In Columbus, the zoo said its system will have two functions, serving as an “on-site power plant” while also offering “an important educational feature and a very visible icon of sustainability for the Zoo and its partners.”