Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies installed solar panels that started producing electricity in December of 2015. The panels were installed by Green Earth Solar and supply power for TVA’s renewable energy purchase program, Green Power Switch.
“As a Green Power participant, we are proud supporters of locally generated, renewable resources,” said Jay Bryan, Director of Maintenance and Engineering for Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies.
Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, the first business in Gatlinburg to install solar panels, added three sections of solar panels with a 50 kilowatt (kw) section on the main roof and 2 smaller sections above the ticket booth and the Gatlinburg Trolley Stop awning. The 50 kw section increases the amount of renewable energy on the grid by selling the energy generated at the Aquarium through TVA’s Green Power Providers program
The 2 smaller sections comprise a 13 kw section feeds power back in the electrical panels while the larger 50 w system generates power sold for the grid. The smaller system allows to reduce the usage and reduce the carbon footprints.
“Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is one of the few producers in Tennessee that are able to utilize the power it is being generated,” added Bryan.
“This is a very exciting project and is a win-win situation. As an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, we are constantly striving to be better stewards of our planet. Ripley Entertainment is constantly exploring and implementing different technologies to improve our operations and guest experience,” said Bryan.