28 MW solar project coming to Cincinnati Zoo

A 28 MW solar project is being developed on farm property owned by the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden.

The zoo has been working to develop solar on their property for more than a decade, an executive said.

The project is expected to move the Cincinnati Zoo from “net zero to net positive” carbon emissions, they said. It will feature 52,000 VSUN 540W bifacial modules, Solectria inverters, and FTC tracking systems.

Initially developed by Melink Solar Development and Soltage, the project is owned by investment management firm Harrison Street. Inovateus Solar has signed on to handle engineering, procurement, and construction work.

Since 2018, Harrison Street has committed $1.2 billion in equity across investments in wind, solar and hydroelectric projects, and the firm’s renewable energy portfolio features over 1 GW of installed capacity.

Headquartered in South Bend, Indiana, Inovateus has over 500 MW of utility, commercial, industrial, and education sector solar PV projects built and over 2 GW under development in the U.S. 

A 1.56 MW solar array has covered the Cincinnati Zoo’s main parking lot since 2011. The zoo plans to build another solar array over a new surface lot this summer and install a battery storage system that will create an energy microgrid. 

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Author: John Engel