North America's largest refuge for elephants, located in Middle Tennessee, has just added rooftop solar panels. This Elephant Sanctuary has provided 27 elephants that are retired from zoos and circuses with 2,700 acres of safe space and companionship.
In downtown Hohenwald, Tennessee, the public can experience The Elephant Sanctuary's Outdoor Classroom that consists of educational murals, sculptures, and exhibits on wild elephants. The indoor Elephant Discovery Center will also reopen soon with new exhibits and activities. One of the newest features is a 40kW rooftop solar PV system, owned by Good Earth Energy LLC, that began powering the area last week. This is Good Earth Energy LLC’s third solar project. Elephant Sanctuary plans to incorporate solar education at the Discovery Center and feature real-time system performance on a digital display.
"Solar is a win-win situation for me," says Bruce Clark, sole member of Good Earth Energy LLC. "I'm from Kentucky, and my first motivation was to offset the need for coal that comes from taking the tops off of mountains in Appalachia," he explains. "I receive the added benefit of a federal tax credit and depreciation," he says.
Bruce Clark chose The Elephant Sanctuary as the location for this solar project after being inspired from seeing a video about a 50 year old elephant, Shirley who moved to The Elephant Sanctuary from Louisiana. (Watch the heartwarming video here)
"I reached out to the folks at The Elephant Sanctuary, and they were highly motivated to help make the solar project happen. They are committed to sustainability," he says.
"We want to be a model for environmental sustainability," says Kate Mason, Communications Coordinator at The Elephant Sanctuary. "Solar panels fit into our mission which focuses on wildlife education and fostering respect for wildlife and the planet," she says.