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updated: 10/21/2013 6:55 AM

Shedd launches solar panel installation

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Associated Press

State officials are touting a solar panel installation at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium as the largest of its kind.

The facility along Lake Michigan has launched its clean-energy initiative with more than 900 solar panels atop its marine mammal pavilion. Officials with the Shedd and Gov. Pat Quinn kicked off the first phase of the installation on Sunday.

Officials call it the largest such installation among any cultural institution in the state that's funded with both public and private funds.

The Shedd is trying to cut its energy consumption in half by 2020 to make it the country's first clean energy-powered cultural institution.

Shedd President Ted Beattie says protecting and preserving the living world is at the heart of the Shedd.

Illinois is putting $205,000 toward the $1 million project.

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