Corporate / Environmental
New Penguin Habitat at Aquarium of the Pacific Powered by Clean Energy from Honda Solar Panels
American Honda Motor Co., Inc., founding sponsor of the nonprofit Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California, is providing Honda solar cell technology to help power the Aquarium's new June Keyes Penguin Habitat. The 11-kilowatt system provides a reliable supply of clean energy that is expected to reduce the Aquarium's reliance on grid-supplied electricity by more than 14,000 kilowatt hours per year. The new June Keyes Penguin Habitat opened to the public May 17, 2012.
This is the first public demonstration of Honda's solar panels in the United States. Honda currently has thin film solar panels installed in 22 Honda facilities worldwide – including the company's motorsports engineering facility in Santa Clarita, Calif. and an auto manufacturing plant in Indiana. Honda's longstanding relationship with the Aquarium prompted this public debut. Since 1998, Honda has assisted with the Aquarium's important efforts for marine conversation, education and community outreach programs.
"Deploying Honda solar cell technology in the new penguin habitat is a great expression of our company's focus on advanced environmental technology, as well as environmental education and conservation. It's really a perfect match," said Stephan Morikawa, assistant vice president, Corporate Community Relations, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "We are honored to support the Aquarium's mission in this way."
Honda CIGS thin-film solar panels use a thin-film compound of copper, indium, gallium and selenium (CIGS) that require less raw material, energy and related CO2 emissions to manufacture than conventional crystal silicon solar cells. CIGS panels are substantially thinner than traditional solar panels and enable stable power generation even when the cells are in the shade. The panels are manufactured and marketed by Honda Soltec, a wholly owned subsidiary of Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
The June Keyes Penguin Habitat, a permanent new exhibit at the Aquarium, houses Magellanic penguins typically found near the southern tip of South America. Today, environmental issues are threatening their survival in the wild. The habitat includes educational exhibit panels and interactive touch screens where visitors can learn about penguins and why 75 percent of them are endangered or threatened.
"Some of our penguins were rescued and by telling their story we hope people will help penguins in the wild by decreasing their carbon emissions, choosing sustainable seafood, reducing pollution, and protecting areas where these penguins breed and forage," said Dr. Jerry R. Schubel, Aquarium of the Pacific president.
Honda Environmental Vision
Striving to achieve the Honda Environmental Vision of "realizing the joy and freedom of mobility and a sustainable society where people can enjoy life," in 2011 Honda established new voluntary targets for the reduction of CO2 emissions from its products, factories and office operations globally in order to address the critical issues of climate change and energy sustainability. At the same time, Honda introduced a global environmental slogan, "Blue Skies for Our Children," that draws directly from Honda's environmental heritage.
Based on this vision, Honda is deploying a comprehensive portfolio of advanced engine and powertrain technologies that includes more fuel-efficient gasoline-powered automobiles, powersports and power equipment products, as well as advanced gas-electric hybrid, battery electric and fuel cell electric automobiles. Honda is also working to develop advanced energy production and distribution technologies, such as solar cells, electricity and heat co-generation systems, and more efficient means of producing renewable biofuels.
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