Columbus Zoo Reaches for the Sun

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium Selects Third Sun Solar for Large Array

Clean Energy Project Has Potential to Be Largest Zoo Solar Array in U.S.

Athens, Ohio—The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, already known as one of the finest in the nation, is preparing to take a huge step forward with renewable energy. Following a careful selection process to which a large number of regional and national companies responded with proposals, the Columbus Zoo has selected Third Sun Solar of Athens, Ohio to develop a solar energy system designed to meet the Zoo’s energy needs and serve their conservation-oriented mission. In taking this step, the Columbus Zoo is launching their plan to host one of the largest non-profit solar energy systems in the nation—perhaps the largest solar zoo installation in the U.S.

Third Sun Solar Founder and President Geoff Greenfield is enthusiastic about the importance of this project in demonstrating the progress that Ohio has made in adding solar to the state’s energy mix: “We are excited to team up with the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium to bring the power of the sun to this world-class institution. Ten years ago, the Zoo hired Third Sun Solar to install a twenty-panel demonstration project; today we are developing a project that will put thousands of panels in a location that receives 2.3 million visitors annually.”

While the design and planning process has already begun, construction won’t occur until 2012. This high profile project will not only be an on-site power plant, but will serve as an important educational feature and a very visible icon of sustainability for the Zoo and its partners.

About Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Founded in 1927, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium gained international recognition and stature with the 1956 birth of Colo, the world’s first zoo-born gorilla. Today, the Columbus Zoo is a nationally and internationally acclaimed conservation center caring for more than 9,000 animals representing over 675 species, including 59 endangered and threatened species. Annually, the Zoo supports more than 70 wildlife conservation projects around the world through its Conservation Fund and Partners in Conservation. In addition to its role as a global conservation leader, the Zoo is a renowned year-round education and recreation facility for visitors of all ages, backgrounds and experiences. Each year, the Zoo attracts and educates more than two million visitors and its mission is to enrich its community’s quality of life and to inspire a greater appreciation of wildlife for the advancement of conservation action. The Zoo resides on 580 acres, making it one of the fastest growing zoos in the world and the third largest municipally-affiliated zoo in North America.

About Third Sun Solar

Based in Athens, Ohio, Third Sun Solar is a fast-growing design/build solar firm serving Ohio and the surrounding states. A rising Inc. 5000 company in 2009, 2010 and 2011, Third Sun Solar is at the forefront of the emerging clean energy industry—a growing resource for 21st-century Ohio jobs. For more than a decade, the company has custom designed and installed over 300 solar energy systems for its commercial, institutional, government, and residential customers across the Midwest. Third Sun Solar employs a team of NABCEP-certified solar energy system installers along with design engineers, financial analysts, grant specialists, and support staff, all focused on making it easier for customers to go solar. The company combines financial and management experience, multiple installation crews, a network of professional services partners, and advanced internal systems to deliver a smooth transition to solar energy at any scale.


Gerald Kelly
[email protected]

Patty Peters
[email protected]

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