Managing energy is just one way to reduce the impact humans have on the environment. The introduction of energy conservation and efficiency programs are also essential to reduce carbon emissions.
A recent energy audit has identified that voltage optimisation (VO) at TWPZ would be a suitable avenue to reduce electricity consumption, reduce ongoing financial costs and mitigate Taronga’s carbon dioxide emissions. It is estimated that this implementation will result in a 77% electricity/carbon saving at the Admin/Workshop and Zoofari Lodge. This will help Taronga achieve its strategic goals and 2020 sustainability targets: 10% reduction in carbon footprint, 20% reduction in electricity consumption and our 2025 target of becoming carbon neutral.
Energy Efficiency Case Studies
Taronga Western Plains Zoo recently made implemented changes to overnight accommodation at Zoofari Lodge. The energy efficiency project involved the decommissioning of electric slab heating and replacement with energy reverse cycle split systems. The replacement strategy lead to a decrease of electricity consumption during winter months of up to 25%.
Renewable Power Station
We are currently in the process of registering TWPZ as a renewable power station under REC, this will be a major milestone. To reduce emissions and increase energy security there will be a strong business case to further implement onsite renewable energy sources at both zoos.
Taronga Western Plains Zoo elephant barn features a 10kW solar system which provides power to all three barns at the facility. The barn has been constructed from thermal mass concrete providing better insulation and has been designed to take advantage of natural sunlight to assist heating throughout the year. Automated louvers allow for cross ventilation as well as solar hydronic under floor heating to heat the sand beds for the elephants.
Taronga Western Plains Zoo Elephant barn has been constructed to ensure.
Taronga Zoo Solar Lemurs
Taronga Zoo Lemur enclosure also uses solar hydronic heating for underfloor heating. The solar alternative to conventional heating enabled Taronga Zoo to reduce carbon footprint by approximately 8 tonnes per year. The evacuated tubes are able to transform more than 90% of the incoming solar radiation into heat which is then stored for use in the enclosure.
Savannah Visitor Plaza Solar Panels
In order to help Taronga meet the objectives of Taronga Carbon Reduction Plan and to reduce energy consumption, Taronga Western Plains Zoo installed 99.76kWp solar panel system on the roof of the Savannah Visitor Plaza in November 2016. This system is one aspect of the Zoo’s plan to increase renewable energy on site by 2020.
The solar panel system spans 456.67m² and saves 110 metric tonnes of CO2 and 157,165kWh annually. The system will result in a savings of approximately $19,698 per year.
The total investment in the solar panel project was $118,000, which will provide savings equivalent to taking 23.3 cars off the road for a year in greenhouse gas reductions.