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Solar Panels Being Installed at the BioPark

Carport-style solar panels will offer shaded spaces in Zoo and Botanic Garden parking lots in addition to generating renewable energy.

May 1, 2019 - The ABQ BioPark is taking another step to go green.

Recently, car ports with solar panels on top were installed at the Botanic Garden. Two large carports in the garden parking lot will give shade to 68 parking spots while generating renewable energy for the BioPark. The work was done by the Albuquerque Department of Municipal Development (Facility and Energy Management Division) in conjunction with Rio Grande Renewables and Ameresco and is estimated to save $38,148 annually in electric costs. The system will generate 339,736 kilowatt hours of energy annually and is estimated to account for about 18 percent of energy usage at the Botanic Garden.

Work will start this summer to do the same at the Zoo parking lot, and will shade nearly 200 spots. The Zoo project is estimated to save $101,696 annually in electric costs. The tentative complete date for the project is December. This system will generate 1,118,080 kilowatt hours of energy each year, and is estimated to account for about 31 percent of energy usage at the Zoo.

rendering-zoo-solar-carport

The projects are being funded by a New Clean Renewable Energy Bond (NCREB), a federal fund with a low interest rate.

Over the last year, the ABQ BioPark and its vendors have taken a number of steps to be more conservation oriented. Recently, the Zoo shops, managed by Wildlife Trading, began offering steel straws and reusable water bottles. Last year, the shops stopped carrying plastic bags, and the BioPark’s catering vendor, Taste, began using more eco-friendly utensils. Learn more.