Detroit Zoo Plans to be Powered 100% by Renewable Energy


The Detroit Zoo will be powered completely by renewable electricity from wind farms through 2018 with the support of Novi-based ITC Holdings Corp.

“We continue to look for ways to reduce our ecological footprint,” says Ron Kagan, executive director and CEO of the Detroit Zoological Society, which operates the Detroit Zoo. “Our hope is to inspire others to look to clean, renewable energy sources.” 

Kagan says the zoo purchased renewable energy credits, a tradable, nontangible energy commodity that represents one megawatt-hour of electricity delivered to a power grid that was generated from an eligible renewable energy resource.

Kagan says the zoo chose to move to renewable energy to reduce its environmental waste and pollution, and help to build the market for renewable energy, which he says accounts for less than 10 percent of total electricity generated nationwide. 

The move to renewable electricity is one of the goals of the Detroit Zoological Society Greenprint, a plan to improve green practices and facilities at the Detroit Zoo and Belle Isle Nature Zoo, incorporate sustainability into policies and programs, and improve green literacy in the community.

The Detroit Zoo in Royal Oak, which spans 125 acres, has more than 1.3 million visitors annually. The zoo is home to 2,500 animals, representing 270 species.