Sydney Zoo teams with EnergyAustralia for rooftop solar solution

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Electricity gen-tailer EnergyAustralia has partnered with Sydney Zoo in Eastern Creek to install 602 solar panels across the rooftops of eight buildings at the 41-acre facility. It is expected the system will generate up to half of the zoo’s peak electricity needs during optimum conditions and slash the facility’s carbon emissions by more than 200 tonnes in the first year alone.

EnergyAustralia Chief Customer Officer Mark Brownfield said the installation is part of a two-year partnership that aims to demonstrate how businesses can play a direct role in the shift to renewables.

“We have seen first-hand how many homes and businesses are making the transition and becoming their own renewable power stations, by adopting solar and battery solutions,” he said.

“Businesses can change the way they power their operations, whether it be an office of 4,000 in the CBD or a capybara habitat, and in doing so drive the energy transition along further.”

Sydney Zoo Chief Commercial Officer Chris Rivett said caring for exotic and native animals requires a lot of energy and the solar power plant is a step in the right direction for the zoo.

“It takes us toward more responsible energy management here at the zoo,” he said.

EnergyAustralia Chief Customer Officer Mark Brownfield and Sydney Zoo Chief Commercial Officer Chris Rivett at the installation launch.

Image: Energy Australia

The partnership with EnergyAustralia also includes plans to use the new solar installation to educate school groups about renewable energy.

“Through this initiative the estimated 80,000 students who visit Sydney Zoo annually will gain a deeper understanding of renewable energy’s importance and its role in protecting our planet,” the zoo said.

In 2023, Sydney’s Taronga Zoo and Taronga Western Plains Zoo (TWPZ) Dubbo became the first zoos in New South Wales to be powered by 100% renewable electricity after signing a deal with retailer Red Energy.

The decision will avoid 7,000 tonnes of carbon emissions each year and support clean energy generation from British-headquartered solar developer Lightsource bp’s 174 MW Wellington Solar Farm, located 50 kilometres from TWPZ.

More than 500 kW of solar panels were also installed at both zoos.

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