Perth Zoo goes wild for solar power10th Jul 2012
Take a trip to Perth Zoo and you'd expect to see all manner of things - lions, tigers, monkeys and kangaroos to name but a few.
But what about solar panels? Ok, so you're probably unlikely to have your camera firmly grasped in your hand in the hope of snapping a solar power system - but they're there!
Perth Zoo has installed a 237-kilowatt solar power system, which should be capable of generating 370,000 kilowatt hours of energy every year.
All of the renewable energy produced on site will be used by the zoo, which it estimates will lead to savings of $100,000 a year in energy costs.
Environment minister Bill Marmion was on hand to unveil the solar power systems .
He commented: "The pergola system, combined with the first stage installation commissioned in March last year, provides Perth Zoo with a total of 755 solar panels with a power rating of 237.4kW.
"In the first stage, 303 solar panels were installed across eight zoo buildings, including the elephant barn and reptile exhibit."
So why has the zoo been chosen as a solar power hotspot?
It is hoped that the 610,000 visitors a year will sit up and take note of the attraction's environmental efforts - and perhaps even emulate them in their own homes.
Figures show that as Perth benefits from around 300 sunny days a year, a typical 1.5kW household solar power system could save as many as three tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions every year.
If you're finding it hard to envisage - and who could blame you - this is the equivalent of driving a car 40,000km.
The next time you take a trip to Perth Zoo, look a little further off the ground and the chances are you'll catch a glimpse of what is being done for the environment.
Posted by Mike Peacock