Solar Forest – Sustainabili-trees

Werribee Open Range Zoo, Zoos Victoria

Projects Over $150,000 2019

As part of Zoos Victoria’s achievement of being the first carbon neutral zoo in the world, we’re constantly looking for ways to reduce our energy footprint. While this is imperative, our true commitment is to our visitors, how do we take them on the journey of sustainability with us? How do we inspire them to join us and take action? How do we make them the centre of our experience?
Introducing… Sustainabili-trees!
The Werribee Open Range Zoo experience is an African experience; our animals, our stories and our conservation stories are all about creating strong engagement and immersing our visitors. Continuing this theme through every element of our experience means carefully considered design. Drawing inspiration from the African Thorn Tree (Acacia tortillis) with its wide canopy spread out above the hungry reach of giraffes and other grazing herbivores of the savannah; we created a Solar Forest made up of 8 “Sustainabilitrees”.
At Werribee Open Range Zoo as part of our sustainability program, we have been increasing our reliance on solar energy across our site since 2014. We currently generate 20% of our electrical needs from the sun through our 200kw grid connected system. The Solar Forest is a powerful opportunity to promote and showcase Zoos Victoria’s commitment to sustainability whilst inspiring others. This project is a demonstration project of an off grid 20kW bifacial solar PV with battery storage technology.


Awards Submission

Part B Supporting Documentation

Project Team: 

Greg Wood – General Manager Operations Werribee Zoo – Project Control Group Chair
Greg Kerr – Operations Manager Werribee Zoo – Project Control Group Member and Contractor Liaison
Nola Hudson – Projects Manager Werribee Zoo – Project Management and Contractor Liaison
Yvette Finlay – Visitor Engagement Coordinator Werribee Zoo – Interpretation
Kiam Yoong – Senior Manager Environmental Sustainability Zoos Victoria – Project Control Group Member
Tony Caon – Sustainability Manager Werribee Zoo – Project Control Group Member
Ying Xu – Autonomous Energy – Engineer and Designer of Solar Trees
Mark Belcastro – Cavern Sound – Audio Installation