Company celebrates milestone by flipping the switch for new solar system at Fort Worth Zoo -
the largest solar system to help power a zoo in Texas
What’s the same size as 560 elephants, over 33,000 large 14” pizzas or nearly 95,000 iPads? The impressive 45,000 square feet of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels that have been installed to date as a result of the Texas Chapter of the Green Mountain Energy Sun ClubSM (formerly known as the Big Texas Sun Club®)!
Green Mountain Energy Company, Texas’ first competitive retail electric provider to offer cleaner energy, today dedicated its 30th solar array donation in Texas made possible by customers in its Sun Club program. Green Mountain Director of Sales Kelly Brcka and the Company’s Super Earth Mascot joined Fort Worth Zoo Executive Director Michael Fourakar to officially “flip the switch” on a $140,000 solar array for the Fort Worth Zoo today during a ceremonial dedication.
Green Mountain funded the Fort Worth Zoo’s 47.5 kilowatt (kW) solar power system, through its Sun Club, a unique program in which Green Mountain’s Texas customers can choose to support solar energy development and education in Texas by contributing an additional $5 on their monthly electricity bill. For more information, visit www.gmsunclub.com.
“It is wonderful that the Fort Worth Zoo is the recipient of our 30th solar array donation through the Sun Club,” said Brcka. “Green Mountain’s Sun Club customers helped make these solar arrays in Texas possible. They have supported our mission to change the way power is made, while helping us give back to the communities where our customers live, work, shop and go to school.”
With this array, Green Mountain’s Sun Club has installed almost 400 kW of new solar energy. To date, these installations are estimated to have avoided as much carbon dioxide as over 3.8 million miles not driven, 1 million houses turning off all their lights for one day, or recycling more than 1 million pounds of newspapers. For information, visit www.gmsunclub.com.
Existing Sun Club Solar Installations
The 30 solar donations made possible by Sun Club members include:
Central Texas: Ronald McDonald House of Austin, Waco Chamber of Commerce
Dallas/Fort Worth: Dallas Children’s Theater, The da Vinci School (Dallas), Eastfield College (Mesquite), Museum of Nature & Science (Dallas), Habitat for Humanity Homes in Dallas, Botanical Research Institute of Texas (Fort Worth), Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame (Fort Worth), Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, The Winston School, Dallas ISD Environmental Education Center, Heard Museum (McKinney)
Houston: Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council, Houston Zoo, Satori Elementary School (Galveston), Chinquapin School (Highlands), Habitat for Humanity Homes, Workshop Houston, Upper Kirby, Seabrook Intermediate School (Houston), Lake Sheldon, Alvin High School
South Texas: Texas State Technical College (Harlingen), McAllen Chamber of Commerce, Texas State Aquarium (Corpus Christi), Art Museum of South Texas (Corpus Christi)
West Texas: Ballroom Marfa
Here is what some of our Sun Club recipients have to say:
“The Waco Chamber’s 48 photovoltaic solar panels funded by Green Mountain’s Sun Club have offset our annual electric usage by 6.5 percent. Utilizing solar plus our commitment to purchase renewable energy contributed to achieving LEED-certification at the gold level by the U.S. Green Building Council. We value our partnership with Green Mountain.” (James G. Vaughan, President and CEO, Greater Waco Chamber)
“The da Vinci School in Dallas was the proud recipient of the Sun Club’s 25th solar installation. The solar array is truly my favorite feature in our new building! We are generating 25 percent of our power needs from it and since November 2010, our array has produced enough power from the sun to offset the CO2 equivalent to planting 3,900 trees! The financial savings is significant, too! We have saved $8,200 since November, 2010. Thank you Green Mountain Energy Company and the Sun Club!” (Mary Ann Greene, founding director, The da Vinci School, Sept. 1, 2011.))
“Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council (GSSJC) was thrilled to partner with Green Mountain Energy Company to set an example for others and to demonstrate our commitment to being good stewards of the environment. The array that we received not only allowed us to reduce our carbon footprint, but it also gave us the opportunity to teach girls the importance of conserving the environment and working together to tackle a real issue affecting our community. The impact will be felt for years to come.” (Mary Vitek, Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council CEO)
“The solar array donated to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Austin and Central Texas has allowed us to spend our funds on services to our families rather than having to use those dollars to pay high utility bills. Especially this summer, walking out into the sun and the 100+ degree weather has been a little more tolerable knowing that same sun is generating energy to keep our families cool.” (Kent Burress, Chief Executive Officer, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Austin and Central Texas)
An additional three solar arrays will be installed through the Sun Club during 2011 including: University of Houston, Gladys Porter Zoo (Brownsville) and Cameron Park Zoo (Waco).
Fort Worth Zoo
The nationally acclaimed Fort Worth Zoo has been ranked the No. 5 zoo in the nation by USA Travel Guide and the No. 1 attraction in the DFW Metroplex by Zagat survey. The Zoo is home to more than 500 animal species and a world-famous reptile collection, housed in the Museum of Living Art (MOLA). The institution’s focus on education and conservation is second to none, enhancing the lives of more than 1 million visitors a year.
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.