ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - An innovative solar power installation will serve as the main power source for the Saint Louis Zoo's Safari Gift Shop.
With the system's photovoltaic panels, the solar installation will produce enough electricity to power three to five homes for an entire year. It is expected to save the zoo an average of $4,500 in the annual cost of energy, and approximately $111,740 over the system's 25-year warranty.
A new visual display will allow visitors to the zoo to view real-time, cumulative generation, and the system's air quality benefits on the zoo's website or at the new digital kiosk on the southern entry bridge leading into the zoo.
This is one of many sustainability efforts at the Saint Louis Zoo.
New heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems replaced outdated lighting with energy efficient lighting. In 2012, the zoo successfully diverted more than 55 percent of its total waste from landfills.
In Missouri, a renewable energy mandate requires investor-owned utilities to obtain 15 percent of their electricity from renewable resources by 2021.
StraightUp Solar, which donated the solar installation to the Saint Louis Zoo, is offering a $250 customer discount as well as an additional $250 donation to the zoo for every new system purchased now through Oct. 31. In order to receive these benefits, customers must post a photo of themselves standing in front the zoo's new solar kiosk and zoo sign. The photos must be posted to both the Saint Louis Zoo and StraightUp Solar Facebook sites.