SRP, the Phoenix Zoo and the City of Phoenix Unveil New Solar-covered EV Charging Station
Zoo parking lot charging station can charge up to 20 electric vehicles at once
This Tuesday, SRP, the Phoenix Zoo and City of Phoenix officials jointly hosted a ribbon-cutting event unveiling the new Phoenix Zoo solar-covered electric vehicle (EV) charging station. The station provides patrons with 20 pay-to-charge parking spaces near the zoo’s entrance so visitors can spend the day knowing they will return to their charged vehicle.
“This project will provide a range of benefits even beyond charging the electric vehicles of Phoenix Zoo-goers,” said John Hoopes, Vice President of SRP and officer on the Phoenix Zoo Board of Trustees. “It will provide real-time data to help us better understand the public’s charging needs and how best to operate public charging stations. This research will improve EV infrastructure and build a stronger and sustainable energy future.”
The charging habits of local EV owners are vital for SRP to understand as the utility continues to invest in additional infrastructure for EVs and work toward SRP’s 2035 Sustainability Goal to support the enablement of 500,000 EVs in its service territory and manage 90% of the charging by 2035.
“This serves a great need in our community for our patrons who frequent the zoo and shows our joint dedication to sustainability and addressing our collective customers’ needs,” said President and CEO of Arizona Center for Nature Conservation/Phoenix Zoo, Bert Castro.
The Phoenix Zoo charging station will test various pricing structures with free charging as an introductory offer, to various hourly pricing models and options over time. The revenue from this pay-to-charge model will help offset the cost of the research and help maintain the charging equipment. The solar panels on top of the structure will feed renewable energy back to the SRP power system for the benefit of all SRP customers.
Mayor Kate Gallego spoke at the event in support of this project and endorsed improved EV infrastructure across the city of Phoenix.
“This exciting collaboration between the Phoenix Zoo and SRP is an example of the creative installation of charging infrastructure we need to make EV ownership easy and accessible,” said Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego. “These tap-to-pay chargers make it effortless to charge your vehicle while enjoying an afternoon at the zoo, and the addition of solar panels contribute toward a future in which EV owners will be able to tap in to zero emission energy. Residents can look forward to seeing many more projects like this around our community, with the commitments from the Biden administration and the City of Phoenix to build a network of EV charging infrastructure.”
The project comes following a series of renewable generation projects SRP announced this January, including a 100-megawatt (MW) solar-powered battery storage system to be added to SRP’s existing Saint Solar facility and a large-scale wind farm on the Babbitt's Ranches property in Northern Arizona. SRP also announced a brand-new Navajo Nation-based solar plant, Cameron Solar, to be developed in 2023, and an extended contract for Kayenta Solar which serves the Navajo Nation. These are in addition to existing renewable resources operating on SRP’s power grid and contribute to the utility’s commitment to add 2,025 MW of new utility-scale solar energy by 2025 and 450 MW of new battery storage by 2023.
“SRP’s sustainability goal to add over 500,000 EVs within our service territory will dramatically cut CO₂ emissions,” said Kelly Barr, SRP’s Chief Strategy, Corporate Services and Sustainability Executive. “By ultimately charging electric vehicles using primarily zero-carbon energy resources – solar, wind, nuclear, battery storage, and in the future hydrogen or other innovative clean technologies – we can enable truly green transportation.”
Partners involved on the Phoenix Zoo EV charging station appreciate the message this charging station makes about the importance of striving for community-wide sustainability. As part of SRP’s ongoing transportation electrification strategy, the utility continues to build partnerships with organizations around the Valley and state to advance electric transportation.
SRP is a community-based, not-for-profit public power utility and the largest provider of electricity in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area, serving more than 1 million customers. SRP is also the metropolitan area’s largest supplier of water, delivering about 750,000 acre-feet annually to municipal, urban and agricultural water users.