Greenprint: Detroit Zoo Powered by Renewable Electricity from Wind Farms

The Detroit Zoological Society (DZS) is excited to start the New Year off in the right direction, thanks to a generous donation of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) from ITC Holdings Corp., which offsets our electricity use 100% with certified energy from U.S. wind.

wind farm

In partnership with ITC Holdings Corp., we have purchased RECs through Green-e, an independent certification and verification program for renewable energy. RECs allow businesses, organizations and homeowners to invest in renewable energy when direct installation is not yet possible. 

To learn more about RECs, check out this EPA video on how energy enters the grid and how renewable energy is certified for investment.

Because the DZS is unable to install large-scale wind turbines on-site (we’re in the processes of evaluating solar applications throughout our grounds) this investment in RECs is an amazing opportunity to support renewables while offsetting our energy use. These certificates show energy developers and our regulators that we demand renewable energy, which should in turn incentivize additional supply to the grid.

In addition to the purchase of RECs, the DZS continues to focus on our Greenprint goals to decrease our energy use, increase our energy efficiency and invest in on-site energy generation. By early spring, the first zoo-based biodigester will be coming online, which will supply the DZS with biogas from compost that we will use as an energy source for the animal hospital.

When switching your lights on at home, do you understand the source of your energy? Check in with your electricity provider to learn more. Most providers, include DTE and Consumers Energy, offer their customers green energy options similar to the program mentioned above. It’s not too late to include this in your New Year’s resolutions!

– Beth Wallace is the manager of sustainability for the Detroit Zoological Society.

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