Green Mountain donated $50,000 to Aquarium to fund solar panel system through its Big Texas Sun Club®
CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS – The Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi is now partially powered by the sun, thanks to Green Mountain Energy Company and its customers. Green Mountain, Texas’ first competitive retail electric provider to offer cleaner energy, donated $50,000 to the Aquarium to fund the solar array system. It is believed to be the largest solar array in Corpus Christi and it is the first one funded and built by Green Mountain in Corpus Christi.
Green Mountain’s Super Earth Mascot; Paul Markovich, senior vice president of Residential Services for Green Mountain; Texas State Aquarium President & CEO Tom Schmid and local children “flipped the switch” of the solar array today during a ceremonial dedication. The Texas State Aquarium is located at 2710 N. Shoreline Blvd.
The 10.08 kilowatt (kW) solar array 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 is installed on the Aquarium’s roof.
“Green Mountain Energy Company is thrilled that nearly half a million people visiting the Texas State Aquarium every year will be able to see the solar array system and learn about the benefits of solar energy,” said Paul Markovich, President of Residential Services, Green Mountain Energy Company. “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® electricity bill (for information, visit http://greenmountainenergysunclub.com/about/). 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 about 210 kW of new solar energy capacity in Texas since 2002.
“This is all part of our ‘Going Green’ sustainability program and it is believed to be the largest, solar array in Corpus Christi, which is why it’s exciting for me to see it on our roof,” said Tom Schmid, Texas State Aquarium President & CEO. “As one of the leading environmental education organizations in Texas, it is important for us to ‘walk the talk.’ This new project will help educate over 500,000 people every year about the importance of alternative energy sources.”
The Green Mountain Energy® Solar at the 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 was built with 36 large solar photovoltaic (PV) 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 were 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.
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.
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.
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.