Work on a new solar PV project at the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland’s (RZSS) Edinburgh Zoo is underway, with the panels having been given the seal of approval by residents, including Pacha the armadillo (above pic)!
The ‘solar meadow’, being installed by E.ON, is part of the wildlife conservation charity’s commitment to reduce its carbon footprint by 60% by 2030 and be net zero by 2040.
The array will feature more than 1,500 bifacial solar panels, able to generate electricity by exposing both sides of each solar panel to sunlight, which can potentially generate up to 880,000 kWh of power a year. It is expected to be fully installed by the end of the year and generate around 25% of Edinburgh Zoo’s electricity consumption.
David Field, RZSS Chief Executive, said:
“It’s vital that we inspire people to protect, value and love nature, and that starts with ensuring we’re reducing our own carbon paw-print on site at our zoos.
“Nature and nature-based solutions must be prioritised, and our new solar installation with E.ON is a huge step in setting RZSS as a global exemplar for biodiversity and sustainability. The meadow is projected to generate up to 880,000 kWh a year, which represents a saving of 194 tonnes of CO2e, or 8% of our carbon annually.
“When the solar meadow is complete, we’ll become the number one zoo in the UK for green energy generation, and number three in Europe.”
Chris Lovatt, Chief Operating Officer of UK Solutions at E.ON, said:
“There’s no greater positive link between energy and our environment than generating sustainable power and using it for wildlife conservation, and this agreement with RZSS delivers both an economic and environmental win.”
More information on Edinburgh Zoo’s sustainability strategy is available to view here.