Archive: Detroit Zoo Goes to 100% Renewable Electricity

ITC Holdings Corp. provides support for renewable energy through 2018

December 14, 2015

ROYAL OAK, Mich., 

The Detroit Zoological Society (DZS) has taken another big step on its green journey by powering Detroit Zoo operations with 100% renewable electricity. The organization’s commitment to sustainable electricity with the purchase of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) is being made possible through the support of ITC Holdings Corp.

“We continue to look for ways to reduce our ecological footprint and thank ITC for helping us to accomplish that goal,” said DZS Executive Director and CEO Ron Kagan. “Our hope is to inspire others to look to clean, renewable energy sources.”

The DZS joins a growing list of companies and organizations taking action to reduce the impact of their energy use. Electricity generated from renewable sources results in less environmental waste and pollution and displaces other non-renewable sources from the electric grid. It also serves to build the market for renewable energy, which currently accounts for less than 10 percent of total electricity generated nationwide.

“The Detroit Zoological Society and ITC share a commitment to environmental stewardship, and we are proud to support their sustainability goals by facilitating access to renewable electricity,” said Dr. Terry S. Harvill, Vice President of International and Merchant Development for ITC Holdings Corp. and a DZS board member.

Each REC – a tradable, nontangible energy commodity – represents 1 megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity delivered to a power grid that was generated from an eligible renewable energy resource. The Detroit Zoo’s RECs are certified by Green e Energy, which provides independent, third-party certification to ensure that renewable energy products meet strict environmental and consumer-protection standards.

The renewable electricity initiative is just one of many goals of the DZS Greenprint – a strategic plan to refine and improve green practices and facilities at the Detroit Zoo and Belle Isle Nature Center, incorporate sustainability in all policies and programs, and improve green literacy and action in the community. In recognition of these continuous efforts in sustainability – including discontinuing the sale of bottled water at the Detroit Zoo and building the first zoo-based dry biodigester in the country – the DZS received the 2015 Green Award from the Association of Zoos & Aquariums and was also named 2015 Best-Managed Nonprofit by Crain’s Detroit Business.