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UK’s biggest zoo-based solar meadow at Edinburgh Zoo

09/10/2023 in Edinburgh Zoo

Leading energy and solutions provider E.ON has begun the installation of a new solar panel array at the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland’s (RZSS) Edinburgh Zoo as part of the wildlife conservation charity’s commitment to reduce its carbon footprint by 60% by 2030 and be net zero by 2040. 

Today, animals of Edinburgh Zoo inspected the new solar panels being installed and gave their seal of approval. Popular zoo residents including meerkats, giraffes, armadillos and penguins all looked on as construction of the new solar meadow gets underway.

Edinburgh Zoo’s solar meadow will feature more than 1,500 bifacial solar photovoltaic (PV) panels1 which can potentially generate up to 880,000 kWh of power a year. The solar meadow is expected to generate around 25% of Edinburgh Zoo’s electricity consumption, with the 1,548 solar panels being installed on the site by the end of 2023.

David Field, RZSS Chief Executive, said: “It’s vital that we inspire people to protect, value and love nature, and that starts with ensuring we’re reducing our own carbon paw-print on site at our zoos.

“Nature and nature-based solutions must be prioritised, and our new solar installation with E.ON is a huge step in setting RZSS as a global exemplar for biodiversity and sustainability. The meadow is projected to generate up to 880,000 kWh a year, which represents a saving of 194 tonnes of CO2e, or 8% of our carbon annually.

“Our charity plans to reduce its carbon footprint by 60% by 2030 and develop a strategy to be net zero by 2040. When the solar meadow is complete, we’ll become the number one zoo in the UK for green energy generation, and number three in Europe.”

Chris Lovatt, Chief Operating Officer of UK Solutions at E.ON, said: “There’s no greater positive link between energy and our environment than generating sustainable power and using it for wildlife conservation, and this agreement with RZSS delivers both an economic and environmental win.

“This project contributes to the great work of RZSS and is just one of the ways we’re working with customers at home, in business and across whole communities, taking climate action to help the UK meet its net zero targets and combat the climate crisis.”

RZSS is one of Europe's leading wildlife conservation charities, promoting environmental education and research, helping to ensure the survival of species around the world.

E.ON is committed to being carbon neutral by 2040 and is leading the energy transition; providing smart, sustainable and personalised solutions for customers across the UK. E.ON offers a wide range of efficient and smart technologies to help customers at home and in business reduce their impact on the planet by using less energy and even generating and storing it themselves.

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