SeaWorld San Diego has announced plans for an elevated solar panel for their Aquatica water park in Chula Vista, set to be operational by the start of the park’s 2018 season.
To make this project a reality, SeaWorld is partnering with Onyx Renewable Partners, a company who develops industrial, commercial and small-scale utility solar projects.
This project will have approximately 3,780 solar panels, which will generate 80-90 percent of the park’s annual energy use, and lower its utility costs. The renewable energy from the sun will reduce SeaWorld San Diego’s CO2 emissions by more than 10,000 metric tons over the lifetime of the solar panel system, which is approximately 20 years. This is important to SeaWorld and its mission, as increasing carbon emissions have been linked to ocean acidification and declining coral reefs.
The elevated solar panels will also benefit guests by providing more than 400 shaded parking spots for both employees and guests.
SeaWorld has had a long history of environmental conservation efforts throughout its 12 parks. The company eliminated their use of plastic gift bags in all parks starting in 2011, and the use of LED light retrofits and installation of variable frequency drives has totaled to a four percent energy use reduction across all parks.
“We are proud to build upon our history of environmental stewardship,” said John Reilly, chief operating officer for SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, and the former park president of SeaWorld San Diego. “This project is just one of several in the coming years to reduce our company’s environmental footprint, helping fulfill our mission and purpose.”
Not only is SeaWorld Entertainment adding solar panels, but in 2018, the company plans to invest $2-3 million in energy efficiency projects at select parks – focusing on lighting, automation systems and air conditioning – which will be the largest amount of money spend on sustainable projects in the company’s history.
“We are pleased to assist SeaWorld in their pursuit of a more sustainable energy future,” said Matt Rosenblum, CEO of Onyx. “Given Onyx’s project experience in the San Diego area, this was a logical match. We appreciate the opportunity to continue bringing sustainable energy solutions to Southern California.”
For more information on SeaWorld San Diego, and their efforts toward environmental conservation, visit seaworld.com/san-diego.