Woodland Park Zoo’s Solar Powered Carousel

In partnership with Seattle City Light, Woodland Park Zoo in the USA is installing a solar power system on its carousel to offset the electricity use of the popular attraction.
While Seattle isn’t renowned for sunny days, Seattle City Light says the solar panels will still generate around 9,000 kilowatt-hours annually, the equivalent power the carousel would use during its 100,000 rides a year and enough to provide for the electricity needs of the average Seattle home. The solar array will also utilise Aurora solar inverters to convert the DC charge from the solar modules into AC.
The zoo says the PV array will serve as a very public demonstration that solar energy is a viable option in the Seattle community.
The solar power system is part of the Woodland Park Zoo sustainability plan to reduce zoo greenhouse gas emissions to 7% below 1999 levels by 2012 and 20% by 2020. It is the first zoo in North America to receive LEED gold certification and its Humboldt penguin exhibit  saves more than 13 million litres of water annually.
Among its many green efforts, the zoo will increase renewable and efficient energy on zoo grounds, encourage green transportation options, reduce stormwater runoff and water waste and expand upon composting and recycling efforts.
The zoo’s innovative composting program called “Zoo Doo” creates around 450 tonnes of compost each year which is sold to the public, saving $60,000 per year in disposal costs. The compost is so popular, Fecal Fest Zoo Doo lotteries are run to select those who will have the opportunity to buy it.