The DZS switch to renewable energy is multifaceted and already underway. The zoo previously became the first zoo in the country to install a Smartflower, “an all-in-one ground-mounted solar-panel system…estimated to generate more than 4,000 kilowatts of electricity annually.” Additionally, DZS has installed more than $2 million worth of energy efficient upgrades in its lighting and control equipment. There are also solar panels installed on top of the zoo’s 38 solar/electric golf carts.
Kagan explains, “Our commitment to sustainability is integrated into everything we do, from our environmentally responsible operations to our community-wide education programs.” In addition to the renewable energy programs already established, DZS has eliminated the sale of single-use plastic bottles, plastic bags, straws and lids.
In order to generate the renewable energy needed to power the zoo, DTE plans to source three new wind parks that will be functionable in late 2020. The carbon dioxide that the wind parks offset will equate to the amount of carbon sequestered by 8,740 acres of U.S. forests each year.
DZS continues to lead U.S. zoos and aquariums in sustainability and conservation efforts. To read the DZS press release outlining details of its renewable energy plan, visit the DZS website.
Caitlin Ritchie is a writer within the energy and power industry. Born in Georgia, she attended the University of Georgia before earning her master’s in English at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.