San Diego

SeaWorld Plans for First Solar Panels Project at Aquatica San Diego

SeaWorld San Diego announced plans Thursday to install elevated solar panels at its Aquatica waterpark in Chula Vista.

SeaWorld is partnering with Onyx Renewable Partners L.P. for the project, set to be up and running by the start of the park’s 2018 season.

The project will include around 3,780 solar panels which will generate 80 to 90 percent of the park’s energy use, in hopes of lowering utility costs. The elevated solar panels will also provide more than 400 shaded parking spots for guests and employees.

SeaWorld said the renewable energy from the sun will reduce CO2 emissions by more than 10,000 metric tons during the solar panel system’s lifetime, estimated to last around 20 years. This is equivalent to removing 124 passenger vehicles off the road, according to the company.

SeaWorld said this is important to them because increasing carbon emissions have been linked to ocean acidification and declining coral reefs.

“The addition of solar panels that will power almost the entire park is a reminder to our guests of the role we can all play in helping conserve California’s precious natural resources,” said Carlos Cuevas, vice president of Aquatica, in a press release.

SeaWorld also plans to invest $2 to $3 million in energy efficiency projects at selected parks next year.

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