|BERLIN & MYSTIC, Conn. (November 10, 2021) – Mystic Aquarium is investing $2.5 million in a multi-system energy efficiency project, including the installation of new solar panels on its roofs and all new energy efficient HVAC (heating/ventilation/air conditioning) systems throughout its campus. Upgrades or replacements of equipment in the animal habitats, energy-monitoring equipment, and interior and exterior lighting are also being completed.
The project is estimated to help reduce total energy use at Mystic Aquarium by 650,000 kilowatt-hours annually, saving the Aquarium over $85,000 in energy costs each year or approximately $1.3 million over the lifetime of the new equipment, while also helping to reduce its carbon footprint.
“This is a partnership between Mystic Aquarium, Eversource and the Connecticut Green Bank that will greatly reduce energy consumption, improve the reliability of the equipment for our animal residents, and position our institution as a leader in advancing causes to reduce energy consumption and carbon footprint by big, public venues,” said Senior Vice President for Facilities and Capital Projects at Mystic Aquarium Keith Sorensen. “Many of the items that have been replaced or upgraded were at or near the end of their life expectancy of 20 or 30 years, so this project is also incredibly timely and will contribute to an even safer and more comfortable experience for visitors.”
“As a consistent champion of energy efficiency, the Eversource team recognizes the significance of helping businesses and leaders in our communities reduce their energy consumption and become more energy efficient,” said Eversource Vice President of Energy Efficiency Tilak Subrahmanian. “Working with Mystic Aquarium exemplifies the impact that partnerships like this can have on lowering energy usage and amplifying the message of energy efficiency through the Aquarium’s unique ability to educate and engage its guests.”
Highlights of the project include upgrades to:
· The Arctic Coast exhibit’s six circulation pumps – part of the 750,000-gallon habitat that houses Mystic Aquarium’s eight beluga whales
· The HVAC systems in the Foxwoods Marine Theater, a 15,000-square foot space where the Aquarium’s California sea lions live, providing a cleaner, healthier indoor atmosphere for the animals and their guests
· HVAC systems in the indoor exhibits of the Main Gallery
· LED lighting installed throughout the campus, including the adjacent parking lot, creating a safer, more well-lit environment for visitors
Mystic Aquarium has several exhibits focusing on clean energy solutions. Renewable Ocean Energy, an exhibit developed in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Ocean Power Technologies, highlights the incredible potential of the ocean to sustainably meet energy needs and address pressing climate concerns, while safeguarding ocean ecosystems.
Coming in Spring 2022, Wind, Water, Wave will showcase the potential for ocean wind energy with interactive equipment and infographic displays that celebrate achievements in marine engineering and highlight the impact of Revolution Wind, an Orsted/Eversource joint venture project. The Covanta Cove exhibit, developed in partnership with energy-from-waste company Covanta, offers hands-on mechanical models of the ways in which marine debris can be transformed into energy to power homes and businesses.