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The Zoo completed a Clean Energy Plan with HGA in 2016, and will be implementing this plan to meet its 2020 goals of reducing consumption in the following areas:

  • reduce water usage by 30%
  • reduce natural gas usage by 20%
  • reduce electricity use by 20%

The Zoo is reducing its consumption of electricity by installing energy effecient-lights! These lights use 80% less electricity per hour and have a lifespan that is six times that of the previous lights. The Zoo also reduces electricity consumption through its use of solar power. Sunlight provides an abundant source of solar energy, and we can harness that energy and turn it into electricity using solar photovoltaic (PV) cells.

Picture of the Solar Flair Check out our Solar Flair located next to the Harbor Seal area! The Solar Flair is positioned on a stationary mount with 1.152 kilowatt polycrystalline solar PV cells angled toward the sun to capture the maximum amount of solar energy. The Zoo's Solar Flair is connected to the Milwaukee County Zoo's electricicy grid and produces about 1,400 kilowatt hours of electricity each each year. Enough to power a typical home for about two months.

  • To see real time data for the Zoo's energy tracker, check out the Solar Energy Output - Live! display in the Lakeview Café. Solar Flair and monitoring provided by WE Energies.

Picture of the Solar Flair The Zoo also has eight solar panels mounted above the Admission Gates, which were installed in 2010. Our solar panels generate 10 kilowatts of power, which is enough to power the admission booths during peak hours and to enable the Zoo to participate in the power company's buy-back program during non-peak hours. Annually, the soar panels produce about 16 MWh - enough to power two average-sized Wisconsin homes fo the entire year!