Solar powers water park

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Vice president of SeaWorld Aquatica Carlos Cuevas

Introducing SeaWorld Aquatica’s sixth season is not a new ride or new featured animal encounters.

Instead, guests will be welcomed to the completed installation of 3,780-solar panels which will power 80 to 90 percent of the park’s annual energy use.

The renewable energy from the sun will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 10,000 metric tons over the life of the system.

“We are proud to say Aquatica has gone solar,” said Carlos Cuevas, vice president of Aquatica, SeaWorld’s Waterpark. “Not only will these panels provide solar energy for our park but they will also provide up to 400 parking spots shaded for our ambassadors and for our guests.”

The installation of the solar panels is important to SeaWorld because an increase in carbon emissions have been linked to ocean acidification and declining coral reefs, said Cuevas.

The solar provider is Onyx Renewables and Helix Electric is the contractor for installing the solar panels.

James Smith with Onyx renewables said the company has a significant present in San Diego County when it comes to providing solar energy. “It is actually the largest operational project that we have in the state of California,” Smith said.
Former Chula Vista Mayor Cheryl Cox said SeaWorld Aquatica has rejuvenated the area and is a big attraction in the South Bay.

Park officials invited the former mayor because Cox helped bring Aquatica to Chula Vista. She said the installation of the solar panels continues to put Chula Vista on the cutting edge with sustainability.

“For years before I was mayor and in the years since I was mayor, the city of Chula Vista has paid such close attention to renewable energy, to recycling to taking care of our planet,” Cox said. “And when you think of the lost and injured sea life that SeaWorld takes care of, and they are taking care of making sure that this place has 80 to 90 percent of its energy needs provided by solar.”

A spokesperson for the park did not know how much the theme park would save in energy-relate costs.

SeaWorld Aquatica opened its sixth season May 25.

Solar powers water park