The Birmingham Zoo and Alabama Power have joined forces to implement an educational demonstration system using solar panels. Buffalo Dunes Wind Project, LLC and Chisholm View Wind Project, LLC, whose electricity is being sold to Alabama Power, have gifted this system as part of their commitment to provide funding for stewardship projects in the state of Alabama. The solar panels are installed on the pergola in the Junior League of Birmingham – Hugh Kaul Children’s Zoo and will create a roof over the pavilion.
“The Birmingham Zoo is proud to take part in this unique opportunity. This supports the Zoo’s conservation mission by exploring the sustainability of solar generation as a future, economic energy supply option,” says Dr. William R. Foster, President and CEO of the Birmingham Zoo.
With the solar project now operational, the Zoo will receive renewable energy certificates from Alabama Power which will result in a portion of the Zoo’s electrical energy consumption to become “green energy.” As an additional highlight of the Zoo’s conservation efforts, Alabama Power will provide an informative kiosk for Zoo visitors to monitor energy generated by the system.
“We are excited to participate with the Birmingham Zoo, TradeWind, and Enel Green Power North America on this educational opportunity,” says Liz Philpot, Renewable Resources Manager for Alabama Power. “This solar demonstration project will help show our customers how solar photovoltaic systems perform in Alabama, as well as support the Birmingham Zoo in meeting their environmental goals.”
The Buffalo Dunes and Chisholm View wind projects were developed by TradeWind Energy.
“All of us at TradeWind Energy are proud to work with the Birmingham Zoo and our partners at Alabama Power on a project we hope will excite the young and young-at-heart about solar energy,” said Joe Arb, TradeWind’s development manager on the project. “We appreciate the opportunity, and we hope it provides one more learning experience for all Zoo visitors.”
Approximately 950 animals of 230 species call the Birmingham Zoo home, including sea lions, zebras, rhinos and endangered species from six continents. The Birmingham Zoo is open daily from 9am to 5pm. Regular admission is $15* for adults and $10* for senior citizens and children ages 2-12 (*Price not including tax). All Birmingham Zoo Members and children under twoyears-old receive free admission.