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The San Diego Zoo and Smart City San Diego recently announced that a solar photovoltaic canopy is being installed that will charge electric vehicles (EV) at the Zoo parking lot.

San Diego Mayor, Jerry Sanders, explained, “The Smart City San Diego Solar-to-EV project is a prime example of what can be achieved by combining the talent, resources and commitment of a diverse group of public and private sector organizations. Housed at the San Diego Zoo, one of our region’s most celebrated landmarks, this project will further demonstrate our clean energy leadership to the rest of the world.”

The project will use 10 solar canopies that produce 90 kilowatts of electricity along with five EV charging stations. With battery technology, a 100-killowatt energy storage system will be charged by the solar canopies and used to offset power demands on the grid to charge the vehicles. When the battery is full, the excess solar energy that is generated will be put onto the electric grid to improve reliability and benefit the surrounding community

The canopies will also be used for shade for 50 cars in the Zoo’s southeast parking area. It is reported at its peak product, the Solar-to-EV project will produce enough energy to power 59 homes. The project will be owned and managed by SDG&E’s Sustainable Communities Program.

John Dunlap, Director of the San Diego Zoo, reported that awareness is being raised for this technology and the option is being made available to guests that visit the zoo from around the world. The charging stations are part of The EV Project and will be owned by the program’s administrator. In keeping with Smart City San Diego’s economic development goals, the project will use local vendors for design and construction and create 35 jobs during construction.

For more information about the San Diego Zoo, visit www.sandiegozoo.org.

Visit the Smart City San Diego website at www.SmartCitySD.org.

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