As part of our partnership with KCP&L’s solar panel initiative, nine roofs all around the Zoo house solar panels that are up and running. In 2016, 242,157 kWh were produced from these solar panels. That's the equivalent of 25.1 homes' electrical use for one year.
Helzberg Penguin Plaza is home to several solar panels, which cover half of the 19,000 square foot exhibit’s roof. We also installed a ground-level panel so that visitors could see what the panels look like and how they work. Because we're so far north of the equator, our solar panels must also incorporate mirrors to reflect sunlight when the sun is low on the horizon.
Solar panels were installed on our restaurant, Tuxedo Grill, as well. Those panels that will sit atop the restaurant will generate 14% of the power being used by it.
Zoo Director Randy Wisthoff is dedicated to the use of solar power. “As a conservation organization, the Kansas City Zoo is always seeking to use renewable energy. From an energy security and sustainability perspective, it seems logical for the Zoo to make the most of solar power technologies. One of the great things about solar power is that it produces its greatest output as demand spikes. Eleven buildings at the Zoo will utilize this resource, capturing and conserving energy at peak needed times, saving the Zoo money and saving the Earth’s resources.”