Sustainable energy for Zurich Zoo

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EKZ supplies Zurich Zoo with sustainably generated heat from regional wood

As an ambassador between humans, animals and nature and as a center for nature conservation, Zurich Zoo is constantly working to conserve resources itself and optimize its own sustainability. Zurich Zoo is climate neutral. It has signed a voluntary target agreement with the Energy Agency for Industry. In this agreement, the zoo commits itself to further CO2 savings.

Zurich Zoo is one of the most visited and important sights in the city of Zurich. Every year, more than a million visitors make a pilgrimage to the soon to be 27-hectare zoo on the Zürichberg to marvel at more than 4,600 animals from 375 species. This includes the Masoala Rainforest as well as the new Elephant Park, which opened in 2014. In order to keep the zoo's attractiveness high and to further increase it, Zurich Zoo is planning, as part of its Master Plan
further projects to expand its offering.

In addition to the Australia facility planned for 2018, Zurich Zoo is building the "Lewa Savanna" by 2020. This facility is another milestone in the history of the zoo. With the "Lewa Savannah", giraffes will return to the Zürichberg after more than 60 years. At the same time, with an area of over 40,000 square meters, it will be the largest facility at Zurich Zoo.

Energy Contracting

The zoo also relies on sustainability and environmental protection for its heat supply. Since 2011, EKZ has been operating the environmentally friendly heating system with wood chips under an
under an operating contract. The existing plant was energetically optimized and modernized by EKZ on behalf of Zurich Zoo from 2011 to 2016. Thanks to this renewal, the degree of coverage with wood chips could be increased to currently 98 %, using the latest filter technology. In addition, the wood comes from the immediate vicinity, so that the transport routes are short. The entire plant has an output of almost 5,000 kW. The core of the plant are the two wood boilers with 1'200 and 550 kW. In addition, 135 kW can be generated by the heat recovery system from flue gas. For peak load coverage and safety, three oil burners of 1'000 kW each were installed to intervene in case of emergency or when needed. Compared to a conventional fossil-fuel heating system, Zurich Zoo saves almost 1,300 tons of CO2 every year.

The essentials in brief

area of application

Wood chips

type of combustion system
UTSR-1200.32 and UTSR-550.32 moving grate furnace with secondary heat exchanger

1750 kW

Moving floor

Exhaust gas dedusting
Multicyclone / electrostatic precipitator

October 2015

CO2 substitution
1'300 tons per year

Owner / Operator
EKZ Energy Contracting, CH-8953 Dietikon

Installation site
Zurich Zoo

Electricity Works of the Canton of Zurich (EKZ)

EKZ Energy Contracting is a financing and operating model for energy services. EKZ has been building energy generation plants throughout Switzerland since 1997, using sustainable energy sources such as geothermal energy, groundwater, lake water, wastewater and wood. EKZ Energiecontracting is one of the leading providers in Switzerland, with almost 1,000 plants in operation. In total, the plants operated generate more than 158 GWh of heating energy annually. 55 employees at three locations (Dietikon, Sargans and Bulle) ensure the flawless construction and operation of these plants. Further information: