Schneider Electric powering Shedd Aquarium’s solar installation

Schneider Electric, a global energy management company, and the Shedd Aquarium, the world’s largest indoor public aquarium, recently unveiled a new solar installation, the largest of any Illinois cultural institution. Located on the roof of the Shedd’s Oceanarium in Chicago, the installation is a component of the first phase of the organization’s Master Energy Roadmap, a plan to cut energy consumption at the aquarium in half by 2020.

The 265 kilowatt installation employs Schneider’s end-to-end solar products complete with photovoltaic inverters, combiner boxes and Klaud solar monitoring, which according to the company, will improve solar system operations through real-time monitoring and statistics and key performance indicator (KPI) measurements. The 913 individual solar panels will help power life-support equipment to the aquarium’s Great Lakes Gallery and enhance the historic 83-year-old building’s energy reserve. The installation will eventually be part of the larger energy management system at the facility, intended to help Shedd met its long-term goal of saving 10 million kilowatts annually, enough to power 750 households.

This solar installation is considered key to Shedd’s “smart” building goal to become the first “smart-powered” cultural institution in the country. The partnership between Shedd and Schneider Electric will continue on to include future projects in building automation, advanced lighting controls, building analytics, demand response programs, and predictive monitoring.

-Bill O’Leary

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