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Animal Shelter Goes Solar

Animal Shelter Goes Solar

The Silicon Valley Human Society’s new animal shelter is using solar modules to produce about 30-40 percent of its electricity. 1,335 photovoltaic modules comprise a 274-kilowatt solar parking shade structure and rooftop solar system. Tioga Energy owns and operates the power system. It is estimated that the installation will save $50,000 in energy costs. The Humane Society was able to have the solar technology installed with no capital outlay, due to an agreement with Tioga to purchase the power from them. The shelter’s president, Christine Benninger said, “Today, our Animal Community Center not only promotes animals, but also showcases the ease and beauty of energy efficiency, water saving, and building in harmony with nature.”

The animal shelter has additional green features. It was built with concrete from an existing structure and used about 90 percent of the previous material. This measure reduced the amount of new concrete that needed to be purchased.

The organization also takes green measures when it comes to taking care of the animals. A kennel cleaning system that requires only 2.2 gallons of water per minute reduces water consumption, while making sure animals have hygienic spaces. Overall, the facility uses 45 percent less water than comparable shelters. Artificial turf is used in dog exercise and park areas in order to reduce water consumption required for natural grass.

Seventy-five percent of the building uses natural light to reduce electrical bills. They feel that natural light is healthier and better for the happiness and wellbeing of the workers and animals. Occupancy sensors manage indoor lighting; if a room is unoccupied, lights automatically turn off. Also Energy Star appliances are used to reduce energy for washing and drying clothing, towels and rags.

The landscaping uses native plants which require less water, and uses bioswales which collect rainwater and clean it before it moves into the public water treatment system.

Image Credit: Jeremy Levine Design

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7:03PM PDT on Jul 17, 2011

Every little bit helps Ty.

10:34AM PST on Dec 24, 2010

Please visit this link and consider signing my petition to help save the lives of countless shelter animals. They appreciate even if you just take a look.

2:18PM PST on Dec 21, 2010


3:02PM PST on Dec 11, 2010

Interesting! And good! Thank you.

8:51PM PDT on Nov 5, 2010

I hope the shelter is no-kill---that would be the most progressive thing they could do to show respect for life and the planet.

7:01AM PDT on Nov 1, 2010

good for them!

3:10AM PDT on Oct 14, 2010


8:11PM PDT on Oct 11, 2010

What a cool idea! It's saving animals and the environment.

11:45PM PDT on Oct 9, 2010

LOVE it!

1:21PM PDT on Oct 2, 2010

The biggest reason I want a higher paying job is to be able to fund animal shelters innovative ideas- such as this one! Bravo!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

How lovely! Thanks for the post.

SUPER ideas --we all need more GREEN!!! THANKS

Not sure rats will ever live down the bad reputation they have. I am afraid that will follow them f…


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