Solar Canopy

Posted March 31, 2011

Largest Publicly Accessible, Urban, Solar Array in the U.S is Under Construction at the Zoo!

The greenest Zoo in America will soon generate power from the Sun!  This Spring, Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden visitors will be greeted by the largest publicly accessible, urban solar array in the country – a 1.56 megawatt system with 6,400 panels installed on a canopy structure over the Zoo’s Vine Street Parking Lot.  The structure will provide shade for nearly 800 of the 1,000 spots available at the Zoo’s main entrance.  Construction has begun and is slated to be completed by the end of April 2011.

The solar panels will convert sunlight into clean energy and provide approximately 20% of the Zoo’s energy needs. (That’s enough to generate electricity to power 200 homes each year, enough energy to power 55,000 energy efficient CFL bulbs for a year, and even enough to power your Wii for 95 million hours.)  Additionally, there will be many days, sunny and cool, when the Zoo will be completely off the grid and sending power back to the utility.