Dedication held today for first solar array system to help power a South Texas art museum
CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS – The Art Museum of South Texas 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 $140,000 to the Museum through the Green Mountain Energy Sun Clubsm (formerly the Big Texas Sun Club®) to fund its first solar array system. The solar array is installed on the Museum’s roof above the entrance and visible to visitors.
Green Mountain’s Sun Clubsm Program Manager, Tony Napolillo joined Art Museum of South Texas Director Joe Schenk, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi President Flavius Killebrew and Corpus Christi Mayor Joe Adame to “flip the switch” of the solar array today during a Ceremonial dedication. The Art Museum of South Texas is located at 1902 N. Shoreline Blvd., Corpus Christi.
The new 25.38 kilowatt (kW) solar array, the second one donated by Green Mountain’s Sun Club in Corpus Christi, is believed to be the largest in the city and the first to power an art museum in South Texas. It will help reduce the Museum’s carbon footprint and energy costs, as well as be used to educate visitors and patrons about the benefits of solar energy.
“Green Mountain Energy Company is thrilled that 87,000 visitors to the Art Museum of South Texas each year will be able to see the array and learn about the important benefits of solar energy,” said Vanessa Montelongo, South Texas Market Manager for Green Mountain Energy Company. “Donating solar installations 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 Art Museum’s solar array through its 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 http://greenmountainenergysunclub.com/about/). Green Mountain previously donated a 10.08 kW solar array to the Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi in 2010. This is Green Mountain’s 29th solar installation through the Sun Club since 2002 when the program was launched.
“Energy costs are a major expense for the Art Museum and we look forward to realizing the savings from this solar array, which the grant from Green Mountain Energy Company has made possible,” said Joe Schenk, Director of the Art Museum of South Texas. “This solar project will help us save on energy costs for years to come.”
“The Art Museum of South Texas is an important community asset and the future energy savings the Museum will receive benefit us all,” said Corpus Christi Mayor Joe Adame. “The City of Corpus Christi greatly appreciates Green Mountain Energy Company, through its Sun Club, awarding our Art Museum this major grant for a solar array.”
The Green Mountain Energy® Solar at Art Museum of South Texas is expected to produce more than 30,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity per year by converting sunlight into pollution-free electricity. Additionally, the solar array is expected to offset over 42,000 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) each year. That’s the equivalent of taking over 1,300 cars off the road for a day or 12,000 houses turning off all their lights for a day.
An educational kiosk, including a sign about the environmental benefits of the array, information about solar energy, and a real-time display of the system’s energy output, will be placed inside the building. 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 Hill Country Ecopower.
Art Museum of South Texas
The Art Museum of South Texas is located on the Corpus Christi Bayfront (1902 N. Shoreline Blvd). The Museum is open Tuesday-Saturday, 10 AM-5 PM, and Sunday 1 – 5 PM. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors aged 60 and over, $4 for students. Children 12 and under are admitted free. The Museum is affiliated with Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. For more information, contact 361/825-3500 or see www.ArtMuseumofSouthTexas.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. Green Mountain offers consumers and businesses the choice of clean electricity products from renewable sources, such as wind, as well as a variety of carbon offset products. Green Mountain’s largest customer is the “world’s most famous office building,” the Empire State Building in New York City. Green Mountain customers have collectively helped avoid over 11.3 billion pounds of CO2 emissions. As a wholly owned subsidiary of NRG Energy, Green Mountain is backed by one of the nation’s largest renewable power producers. For more information, visit www.GreenMountain.com.