San Diego Zoo Parking Lot Goes Solar with Photovoltaic Canopy reports TarpaFlex
Solar-to-EV & Zoo project set as prototype for future projects
San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders stated that the project was “a prime example of what can be achieved by combining the talent, resources and commitment of a diverse group of public and private sector organizations. Housed at the San Diego Zoo, one of our region’s most celebrated landmarks.” He added, “This project will further demonstrate our clean energy leadership to the rest of the world.”
The Solar-to-EV project began September 4. It will charge plug-in electric vehicles, store natural solar energy for later use, and be a source for renewable energy to the community that surrounds it. The San Diego Zoo is located in Balboa Park, and the Solar-to-EV project prototype for future replicant projects in other communities.
“Experts say that by 2020 we could see more than 200,000 plug-in EVs in our region,” says Jim Avery, San Diego Gas & Electric senior vice president of power supply. “The Zoo has been forward-thinking about creating a sustainable future for our children to enjoy, so collaborating on this solar project was a natural fit. It will demonstrate new technology, and provide guests with a way to charge their EVs with clean energy while they visit the Zoo.”
Ten solar panels will be incorporated into the canopy. Each panel will be capable of producing 90 kilowatts of electricity. There will be five EV charging stations. An energy storage system capable of handling 100-kW will be utilized to offset power demands from charging cars. The
San Diego Gas and Electricity stated, “When the battery is full, the excess solar energy that is generated will be put onto the electric grid to improve reliability and benefit the surrounding community. The solar canopies also provide shade to approximately 50 cars in the Zoo’s southeast parking area. At peak production, the Solar-to-EV project will produce enough energy to power 59 homes. The clean energy produced is equivalent to removing 189,216 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year, or the same as planting 2,788 trees annually.”
The project site will also contain informational and educational material on how the grid works. Online information will also be accessible for those who wish to learn more about the project’s logistics and technology.
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