Zoo Miami Celebrates New Solar Array Donated By FPL
January 23, 2012

On Oct. 25, 2011, FPL and Zoo Miami celebrated the unveiling of the first solar array installed on the zoo grounds, located in the Amazon & Beyond exhibit on top of the trellis area in the main plaza.

Part of FPL’s Next Generation Solar Education Station program, the solar array is a donation from Florida Power & Light Company and the result of a partnership with Zoo Miami and the Zoological Society of Florida to expand the zoo’s green initiatives.

The Zoo Miami Next Generation Solar Education Station features operational solar panels similar to those in service at FPL’s DeSoto Next Generation Energy Center in Arcadia, Fla. The array of photovoltaic panels converts sunlight directly into electricity, producing on average 617 kWh of energy a month, which represents significant savings to the Zoo’s energy costs. 

The solar array will also provide school groups and other visitors to the zoo with a hands-on tool to learn about renewable energy.

“For the leaders of tomorrow, solar and other clean forms of renewable energy will be a major part of everyday life,” said Manny J. Rodriguez, regional director of external affairs for FPL. “In addition to providing real energy savings for the zoo, the solar array also serves as a science learning tool visitors can enjoy year-round.”

“Zoo Miami is a leader in conservation and we see it fitting to partner with FPL in this very exciting project.  We are proud and very fortunate to have this partnership with FPL in our efforts to become sustainability leaders among our peers in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums,” said Eric Stephens, Zoo Miami Director.

Zoological Society of Florida President & CEO Benjamin H. Pingree applauds this project and is thrilled to know that FPL is helping the zoo further its conservation efforts.  “The solar array will produce enough power to run a computer, dishwasher, microwave oven, refrigerator, television, water heater, clothes washer and dryer all at the same time for one month!”

For more on FPL’s Next Generation Solar Education Station commissioning at Zoo Miami visit http://www.fplblog.com/?p=935.