The Toledo Zoo has dedicated an artistic and green structure that will help the park reduce its carbon footprint and preserve the environment.
The SolarWalk, erected in conjunction with First Solar, features over 1,400 solar panels that will help the zoo reduce use of non-renewable energy.
The steel structure was decidated on Tuesday in a ceremony featuring representatives from the Toledo Zoo, First Solar, and the office of Gov. Ted Strickland.
The SolarWalk, providing green energy for the zoo's grounds, features graphic panels showcasing green activities and tips for visitors. The structure also includes an interactive kiosk with information on how solar energy works.
"The SolarWalk is part of the Zoo's overall commitment to incorporating renewable energy in all of its construction, and its presence at the Zoo serves as an impressive testament to that commitment," said Toledo Zoo Executive Director Dr. Anne Baker.
The zoo expects that SolarWalk will help reduce annual CO2 output by 75 metric tons, or the same amount of CO2 produced by 15 medium-sized cars in one year.
Solar modules, design work and engineering expertise were all donated by First Solar to complete the project. "We are committed to being behind our local community and are proud to support the Zoo in its effort to generate clean solar electricity," said Carol Campbell, Executive Vice President of Human Resources for First Solar.