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.
Partners in Sustainability – OEH Sustainability Advantage Program
Taronga is a Silver Partner of the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) Sustainability Advantage Program. Silver Partner status acknowledges that Taronga Zoo has achieved genuine environmental improvements via the program.
OEH have assisted Taronga by providing specialist advice and assistance for energy audits, delivery of staff engagement workshops and surveys, and advice to assist with the direction and development of Taronga's Environmental Sustainability Strategy.
Taronga complies with requirements of the Government Resource Efficiency Policy (GREP) and has implemented a number of energy efficiency projects such as LED lighting retrofits, plant and equipment upgrades, variable speed drives for increased pump efficiency, and reduction of Taronga's vehicle fleet.
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%.
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.