Renewable energy rules! Two Oceans Aquarium launches another green initiative
By Leon Jamarie / 27 September 2011
The Two Oceans Aquarium continues to strengthen its greening endeavours to minimise its impact on the environment. Besides our marine conservation work, we are committed to educating and influencing the way people think about and interact with the natural world.
Our latest initiative is a collaboration with Project 90 by 2030, an NGO specialising in energy efficiency and renewable energy (policy and action), which also communicates options for carbon-footprint reduction.
Together we have implemented the strategic placement of wind turbines and a grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) system – a solar panel system used to convert sunlight into electricity – in the administration block of the Aquarium to reduce the energy consumption of this block and achieve carbon neutrality for this specific area.
A Sunny WebBox will also be installed. This is a multifunctional, energy-efficient data-logger that displays, archives and processes solar and wind-generation data, as well as instantaneous power in real-time.
When investigating the possibility of using the Aquarium as a demonstration site for this project, the Project 90 by 2030 team was greatly impressed by the existing changes and alterations that had already been made at the Aquarium, such as the two worm farms at Shoreline Café to consume waste and compost; the use of SAPPI’s green toilet paper; the recalibration of all of our chilling units to ensure that they are running as efficiently as possible; and the Two Oceans Aquarium Environmental Education Centre’s “Oceans in Motion” outreach van, which is covered in solar panels.
“This project not only aims to ensure that a section of the Aquarium can become carbon-neutral, but also that the 450 000 annual visitors are educated about efficient energy use, energy savings and the human impact on the environment,” said a spokesperson for Project 90 by 2030.
At the installation of the first wind turbine on 20 September, Two Oceans Aquarium Technical Manager Mike de Maine – who was instrumental in getting the Aquarium’s collaboration with Project 90 by 2030 going – expressed his appreciation and excitement at yet another of its green initiatives.
“Today was the culmination of many people’s vision and the start of a new beginning in energy conservation for the Two Oceans Aquarium. We would like to thank Project 90 by 2030 and its partners for this amazing opportunity,” he said.