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Detroit Zoo to meet 100% renewable energy goal

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Energy Global,


The Detroit Zoological Society (DZS) has announced that the Detroit Zoo will be powered by 100% Michigan-made renewable energy through DTE Energy's MIGreenPower programme.

The move will offset 7425 t of carbon dioxide, which is equivalent to the carbon sequestered by 8740 acres of US forests in 1 year and is part of the DZS ‘greenprint’ strategic plan to continuously decrease the environmental impact of its operations. DTE will source the renewable energy from three new wind parks that will come online in late 2020.

MIGreenPower is a voluntary renewable energy programme that helps DTE electric customers reduce their carbon footprint and support the development of additional wind and solar energy projects in Michigan.

"Our commitment to sustainability is integrated into everything we do, from our environmentally responsible operations to our community-wide education programs," said Ron Kagan, DZS executive director and CEO. "Joining MIGreenPower is a major step forward for us, as our power needs significantly exceed what we can produce onsite. This programme helps reduce our carbon footprint while also supporting local, Michigan-made renewable energy."

Sustainable design features at the Detroit Zoo include permeable pavement that diverts rainwater from the storm water drains, an anaerobic digester that converts herbivore animal waste and food scraps into compost and energy, and the use of solar/electric hybrid golf carts and bicycles for on-site transportation. The Detroit Zoo is also the first zoo in the US to install a Smartflower, an all-in-one ground-mounted solar panel system that generates more than 4000 KW of electricity annually.

Waste reduction is also a key aspect of the DZS's "Green Journey." The zoo has eliminated the sale of single-use plastic water bottles as well as the use of plastic bags, straws, and lids. The DZS has also worked with DTE to complete energy efficiency upgrades in more than 50 of the Zoo's buildings and to install Zoo-wide LED lighting.

MIGreenPower offers DTE customers some important advantages over individual clean energy options. It eliminates the hassle of owning and maintaining additional exterior equipment, and it is less expensive than installing a private rooftop solar system. DTE's MIGreenPower programme is on track to be one of the largest voluntary renewable energy programmes in the country.

DTE first launched MIGreenPower in April 2017 and introduced an expanded version of the programme for large corporate and industrial customers in January. It is part of the company's commitment to reduce carbon emissions 80% by 2040. DTE is developing additional MIGreenPower programmes to meet diverse customer needs.

Read the article online at: https://www.energyglobal.com/electric-hybrid/28082019/detroit-zoo-to-meet-100-renewable-energy-goal/

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