To Commemorate Earth Day, Green Mountain Energy Company Presents Texas State Aquarium With $50,000 Check To Fund New Solar Array

To Commemorate Earth Day, Green Mountain Energy Company Presents Texas State Aquarium With $50,000 Check To Fund New Solar Array

CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS – To commemorate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, the Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi, Texas and Austin-based Green Mountain Energy Company, today announced plans for the Aquarium’s new solar array. Green Mountain presented the Aquarium with a check for $50,000 to fund the new 10.08 kilowatt (kW) solar panel system.

The array, which will be the first one donated by Green Mountain in the Corpus Christi area, will help reduce the Aquarium’s carbon footprint and energy costs, as well as be used to educate visitors about the benefits of solar energy. The solar photovoltaic (PV) system will be installed on the Aquarium’s roof and it is expected to be one of the largest solar arrays in Corpus Christi. The Texas State Aquarium is located at 2710 N. Shoreline Blvd.

“In honor of the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day, Green Mountain Energy Company is especially pleased to donate the solar array system to the Texas State Aquarium, an organization that is dedicated to the environment and preserving and promoting sea life,” said Vanessa Montelongo, South Texas Market Manager for Green Mountain Energy Company. “Green Mountain has been serving customers throughout Corpus Christi and the surrounding communities since 2002. Donating solar systems like this one helps us give back to the communities where our customers live, work, shop and play, while supporting our mission to change the way power is made.”

Green Mountain funded the Texas State Aquarium’s new solar array through its Big Texas Sun Club®, a unique program in which Green Mountain’s Texas customers can choose to support solar energy installations in Texas by paying an additional $5 on their monthly Green Mountain Energy® electric bill (for information, visit www.bigtexassunclub.com). This will be the 23rd solar project built in Texas thanks to the Big Texas Sun Club. With this installation, Green Mountain’s Big Texas Sun Club will be responsible for creating over 210 kW of new solar energy capacity in Texas since 2002.

“We are thrilled with this contribution from Green Mountain Energy Company,” said Aquarium President & CEO Tom Schmid. “As one of the leading environmental education facilities in South Texas, we understand how important it is for us to ‘walk the talk’, in terms of conservation and sustainability. This new solar array will not only reduce our energy costs, it will provide a new opportunity to inform our guests about the importance of solar energy.”

The Green Mountain Energy® Solar at Texas State Aquarium is expected to produce more than 12,000 (kWh) of electricity per year by converting sunlight into pollution-free electricity. The solar array is expected to save the Aquarium approximately $117,000 in electricity costs over its 30-year lifetime. It will be built with 36 large solar panels and is expected to offset almost 26,000 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) each year. That’s the equivalent of not driving over 29,000 miles annually, or 15 trips from Corpus Christi to New York City.

A sign about the array and information about solar energy will be placed on the roof adjacent to the array.A monitoring web site will also be linked to the array to display real-time energy output data that anyone with Internet access can view.

The solar panels will be installed by Houston–based Alternative Power Solutions. This will be APS’s second solar array installation for Green Mountain and the Big Texas Sun Club. Construction on the 10.08 kW solar array will start later this spring and is expected to be completed by this summer.

About Earth Day
Thursday, April 22 is the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, an event many people around the world will celebrate by focusing on ways to reduce pollution, protect nature and lower their personal impact on the environment. Earth Day began in 1970 as an annual day to recognized the wonders and beauty of our planet and has evolved into a week-long – and in some cases, month-long – celebration.

Texas State Aquarium
The mission of the Texas State Aquarium is to inspire appreciation and wise stewardship of the Gulf of Mexico. The Aquarium is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums.
www.texasstateaquarium.org.

Green Mountain Energy Company
Green Mountain, the nation’s leading competitive retail provider of cleaner energy and carbon offset solutions, was founded in 1997 “to change the way power is made.” The company is the longest serving green power marketer in the U.S. and in 2009 was ranked the “Highest in Business Customer Satisfaction with Retail Electric Service” by J.D. Power and Associates1. Green Mountain offers consumers and businesses the choice of clean electricity products from renewable sources such as wind and water, as well as a variety of carbon offset products. Green Mountain customers have collectively helped avoid over 11.3 billion pounds of CO2 emissions. For more information, visit GreenMountain.com.

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1Green Mountain Energy Company received the highest numerical score among business electric service retailers in Texas in the proprietary J.D. Power and Associates 2009 Texas Business Retail Electric Provider Satisfaction StudySM. Study based on responses from 2,231 businesses measuring 7 retailers and measures opinions of businesses with their electric service provider. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of consumers surveyed May-June and September-October 2009. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com.