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Pueblo Zoo Employs Solar to Power Animal Conservation

Dec. 17, 2019
The $350,000 in expected electric savings from the solar partnership with Pivot Energy will go toward the zoo’s conservation and educational efforts.

Pivot Energy, Colorado’s largest community solar developer, recently announced its partnership with the Pueblo Zoo to purchase solar power that will be used to offset the zoo’s electricity with clean energy, reduce its carbon footprint and lower its energy costs.

The Pueblo Zoo has committed to subscribe to a community solar garden, developed by Pivot Energy, which will provide the zoo with 200 kilowatts (kW) of solar capacity, enough electricity to power nearly 40 homes a year. The solar subscription is expected to save the zoo more than $350,000 in electricity expenses over the course of the agreement. The money saved will then be reallocated and used for the zoo’s animal conservation and education efforts.

"This initiative is important to us in so many ways. We are dedicated to acting as an example to our community in seeking out and implementing sustainable actions," said Abigail Krause, executive director of the Pueblo Zoo, in the press release. "We want to inspire our guests and our students to find ways to make sustainable choices in their own lives. Transferring to solar enables us to be true to our mission to empower people to engage in conservation of animals and their natural habitat. Additionally, as a non-profit entity, it is important for us to stretch every dollar. This solar project will allow us to direct those valuable savings directly to the care of the animals."

"Community solar is an excellent program for organizations like the Pueblo Zoo to receive the benefits of solar energy without incurring any upfront costs,” said Pivot Energy CEO Tom Hunt in the release. “We look forward to seeing the continued great work the Pueblo Zoo will do as a result of the savings from their community solar subscription."

The 500kW community solar garden is located near the Pueblo airport. Pivot Energy will construct and manage the project in partnership with Black Hills Energy. The community solar garden will also be open for Pueblo residents, businesses, and non-profits to participate.