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Sea lions go solar

Published: 9 March 2012 - Joe Bush

Knowsley Safari Park on Merseyside, has increased the green credentials of its popular sea lion house following the installation of solar panels from Eco Environments.

Edward Perry, director of operations for Knowsley Estates which runs the Park, said that the energy generated from the solar panels would help reduce rising electricity bills for heating and lighting the sea lion House, especially when the Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) income from the install was taken into account.

Spare energy from the panels will also be used to power children’s fairground rides next to the sea lion house.

Perry commented, “We are trying to make the most of every opportunity we have to be greener. The Eco Environments team did a brilliant job to get us installed. Families love visiting the sea lion house and we’re delighted that our four resident Californian sea lions can help boost our green credentials, slash energy bills and reduce our carbon footprint.”

There are plans to install a large digital display inside the sea lion house so visitors can see exactly how much electricity the solar panels are generating each day.

Knowsley Safari Park asked Liverpool-based Eco Environments to design and install the solar array, and as such, a 10kWp system of 40 Hyundai 245kW solar panels was installed on the sea lion house roof.

It is estimated that the solar installation will save the park £804.29 on electricity bills every year - reducing its carbon emissions by over 4423kg per year, with a £1,366 annual income generated through the FiTs. Eco Environments estimates that the Park will see an average annual return on investment of 25%.

In addition to the sea lion house installation, the park’s owners, Lord and Lady Derby, have also installed a 8kWh solar PV system on their own house, and an air source heat pump with under floor heating has been installed in the antelope house.

The park also plants thousands of trees, and has plans for a 50kW wind turbine to meet the energy demands of much of the walk round area including the restaurant, shop and rides. Mark Buchanan, commercial director with Eco Environments, said, “All sorts of businesses with significant energy consumption are choosing to invest in a range of renewable energy technologies with solar panels being the most popular. Knowsley Estates is a fantastic client because they understand the importance and significant benefits of developing a comprehensive environmental strategy with solar PV as one of the key elements.”



 
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