Saint Louis Zoo Goes Solar

Here Comes the Sun!

Here Comes the Sun!

Why the Saint Louis Zoo Went Solar

This summer, StraightUp Solar was honored for the opportunity to donate a rooftop solar array to the world-famous St. Louis Zoo. The 31 kilowatt solar system sits on the Safari Gift Shop at the South Entrance.  The system consists of 96 SunPower solar panels which produce enough pollution-free electricity to power four homes year round.  It will save the Zoo more than $115,000 off its electric bill over the next twenty-five years. Click here to view real-time and cumulative generation and the emission reductions made possible by the system.  The monitoring information is also available from the Zoo’s website or from a new digital kiosk found at the South Arrival Experience bridge leading into the Zoo.

Dane Glueck, president of StraightUp Solar says, “StraightUp Solar exists for simply one reason—to inspire a solar tribe to create a sustainable world.  When the opportunity arose to install the Zoo’s first solar array, we knew instantly that donating the system was consistent with our company’s CLEARE values to not only respect the environment and animal habitat, but also to educate the public that they can make real and meaningful sustainability choices today that will provide energy, environmental, and economic security benefits for decades to come.” The Zoo is only one of the fantastic organizations that StraightUp Solar supports. Check out the rest here.

How Solar Empowers Conservation

What’s the connection between zoological conservation and solar – simply habitat preservation.  Two of the greatest impacts of carbon power are rapidly changing polar regions and ocean acidification. Before 2050 the Arctic summer will be ice free and animals like the Polar Bear will have no habitat to survive in. As more carbon enters the atmosphere it dissolves into the oceans making them acidic and stressing marine life. Changing currents and temperatures only add to the impact. Nowhere is this more apparent than coral reefs – which support one-third of all marine biodiversity and the food, income, and security of over 500 million people. Zoos across the world are championing sustainability to highlight the need to save our wildlife habitat and protect vital ecosystems. Solar is one tool to stop acidification and polar changes. Join the movement to clean up our world!

About the Zoo’s Sustainability Efforts

 The Saint Louis Zoo’s sustainability initiatives range from diverting  55.33 percent of its total waste from landfills in 2012 alone to strongly promoting the use of re-usable “sipper” cups, tripling the sale of these cups over eight years. The Zoo has recently installed efficient new heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems and replaced outdated lighting with energy efficient lighting in multiple areas. The Zoo also reduced water loss by replacing leaking valves and installing variable frequency drives on pump motors to reclaim water and by installing an efficient new system at Sea Lion Sound that is expected to save 11 million gallons of water each year. For more on the Zoo’s sustainability initiatives, visit click here “As a conservation organization, we work hard to save wild things in wild places around the globe, and we are also committed to conserving resources here at home,” says Jeffrey P. Bonner, Ph.D., Dana Brown President and Chief Executive Officer of the Saint Louis Zoo. “This environmental initiative is one among many at the Zoo.  We have an exceptional recycling program and have significantly reduced water and energy use by installing more efficient systems. We hope to share our experience with this solar energy system with our guests so that they can evaluate the use of solar energy at their own homes or businesses.”

About StraightUp Solar

StraightUp Solar is a turnkey solar energy provider that simplifies the design and install of your new array. Since 2006, StraightUp Solar has brought solar energy to residential and business customers by designing and installing affordable solar solutions.  The company’s collaborative approach provides the education and partnerships necessary to make solar energy accessible.  Its list of clients also includes universities, public school systems and city governments.  For more information visit or StraightUp Solar on Facebook – Google+Linkedin. For more information, pictures and video, visit,, (@stlzoo),,,

StraightUp Solar’s Causes (See More Here)

We love designing and installing solar. But, that’s only a piece of the bigger picture.  Donating to the Saint Louis Zoo was the latest in a long line of causes we have supported to reaffirm our vision statement:  “To inspire a solar tribe to create a sustainable world.”  While “world” can sound somewhat vague and trite, the world is indeed the community that we’re advocating for.  Importantly, it starts local and expands from there.

In 2013 we put solar on the Mehlville School. Together with these local schools, we ran a joint fundraising campaign to donate to SolarAid – an organization putting solar on African school.  We’re proud to proclaim that our hard work touched the lives of over 200+ school children in Namibia. It is our hope that when school classes and families visit the Zoo they will feel a similar feeling to change the world. To learn more about our efforts just follow the link above.

How Much Power is the Zoo Producing Now!

Zoo Production

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Dane Glueck

Pranav Modak

Josh Hill