A new “solar tree” at the National Aquarium will collect solar power as part of the aquarium’s efforts to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2035 and create a healthier harbor.
The National Aquarium partnered with Constellation Energy to unveil their new solar tree Tuesday during a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Inner Harbor.
The solar tree is a large-scale sculpture, a functioning solar power collector and a symbol of energy stewardship. It is part of the commitment that the National Aquarium made on Earth Day this year to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2035.
To support the Aquarium’s clean energy efforts, Constellation donate $1 million over the next five years.
The solar tree was one of the next elements in the Aquarium’s new Waterfront Campus project, which plans to improve the health of the Inner Harbor and Chesapeake Bay.
The new campus will include the installation of floating wetlands, creating habitat for native species, gradually improving the harbor’s water quality and reconnecting residents and visitors with the natural world at the water’s edge.
“The National Aquarium makes an incredible impact through conservation and education programs, and the new Waterfront Campus will expand this reach to even more visitors,” Constellation Chief Customer Officer Jim McHugh said. “This expansion, which will provide hands-on science education for local students, will highlight the Aquarium’s longstanding commitment to clean energy and we’re thrilled to support it.”
This solar project is part of a 25-year electric supply agreement with Constellation to help the Aquarium manage utility costs and encourage the development of renewable energy in Maryland. This project allows the Aquarium to receive a significant portion of renewable energy credits.
“Constellation is proud to support the National Aquarium in its efforts to educate and connect the community with the Chesapeake Bay and the importance of environmental stewardship,” Constellation President and CEO Joseph Dominguez said.
Going green won’t stop at solar technology for the Aquarium. The partnership with Constellation has included other sustainable business practices, such as replacing fluorescent light bulbs with LED bulbs throughout the Aquarium’s campus.