Winnipeg's resident polar bears are being kept cool and warm by a green energy system that recognizes the threat to their cousins in Manitoba's north from global warming.
The Assiniboine Park Conservancy said Tuesday the Journey to Churchill exhibit has a geothermal energy system that was chosen over fossil-fuel options to address climate change concerns.
Park officials said the system benefited from a provincial grant of $105,160 to encourage green energy and uses made-in-Manitoba technology.
"Our province is once again at the forefront of showcasing the benefits of renewable geothermal energy over fossil-fuel options," said Municipal Government Minister Drew Caldwell.
The geothermal system at the park serves four detached buildings:
- Gateway to Arctic building
- Tundra Grill
- water treatment complex
- the International Polar Bear Conservation Centre
Rick Chopp, the zoo's director of major projects said going geothermal just made sense.
"We chose to go the geothermal route actually because it really reflects our mission which is sustainability and making people understand that climate change or how we affect the earth is a real thing," he said.
"Really, we're practising what we preach," he said. "There's obviously operating savings ... but probably the best part of it is there's no emissions. I mean, we're taking the heat and cooling from the earth essentially and conditioning our buildings with it."