Big Checks, Building Homes, and Dodging Tornadoes

Just a typical Earth Month for the Sun ClubTM!

It’s been a busy month for the Green Mountain EnergyTM Sun ClubTM, but I’m starting to realize one strange fact: Mother Nature doesn’t seem to want me to promote solar energy in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. It’s true! Since taking over the management of the Sun Club in 2006 I’ve competed with the weather in DFW during many Sun Club events: normal, party-dampening rain; torrential floods (on two occasions); a freakish March snowstorm; and now I can add unprecedented tornadic activity to that list.

It was during my most recent trip to Dallas to promote two Sun Club solar donations that I had the displeasure of witnessing two tornadoes on the ground while dodging quarter-size hail and erratically fretful semis. A word of advice: if you’re planning any outdoor events in the DFW area, please check with me first to see if we have any Sun Club events planned around that time.

With that said, the devastation was incredible as I’m sure you all saw. To help those who lost everything, you can easily make a $10 donation to the Redcross by  texting the word REDCROSS to 90999.

Moving on….I’m very proud to announce that during the month of April, typically called Earth Month, the Sun Club made five solar donations to very worthy organizations across  Texas:

Waco Habitat for Humanity Restore

This $30,000 donation will pay for the first solar array on top of a Habitat ReStore building. The ReStore resells building materials to the public which have been donated by commercial businesses and every-day folks. The numbers of tons of materials saved from Waco landfills thanks to this organization is staggering. This organization is doing so much to help the environment it makes me even more proud to be able to help them get greener with solar on their roof. The array will also be incorporated into the science curriculum at Baylor University.

Dallas Arboretum

The Green Mountain Energy Sun Club presents the Dallas Arboretum with a $30,000 donation check.
The Dallas Arboretum‘s mission of conservation and protection of the environment made them a natural fit for a Sun Club donation. With this gift of $65,000, the Arboretum will be purchasing six solar powered trams which will be used to escort those with disabilities or difficulty walking around the grounds. I love this donation because of its innovative use of solar energy and the massive exposure solar will have to millions of visitors each year as they see these pollution-free solar powered carts go by.

Singularity Solar Energy

The Green Mountain Energy Sun Club presents a $10,00 donation check to Singularity Solar Energy
This is the type of story I love: a family decides they want to do more to help the disadvantaged and the environment so instead of just wishing things would changed, they form their own non-profit foundation to be an active part of change. Singularity Solar Energy was founded by a father/daughter team in 2010 with the mission to provide free solar panels to low-income families in the DFW area to help lower their monthly energy costs and provide clean energy.  It also assists those who have lost their jobs by training them in solar panel installation. A special source of pride with this donation comes from the fact that the Sun Club is the first major donor and is putting up the funds for the first solar array installation. This $10,000 donation will provide at least one solar array for a deserving family building a home through Habitat for Humanity.

Wilson Montessori School (Houston Independent School District)
The Green Mountain Energy Sun Club presents the Wilson Montessori School with a $50,000 donation check.

To commemorate Earth Month, the Sun Club donated $50,000 to the Houston Independent School District to build a solar array at Wilson Montessori School (2100 Yupon).  The check was presented on April 12 at the district’s board meeting. The array will assist Wilson Montessori School as it participates in HISD’s Green School Challenge. Through this program, schools pledge to reduce their energy and water consumption, and to increase the amount of single-stream waste recycling. Learn more here.

Rice University Habitat for Humanity Centennial House

Green Mountain Energy helps build the Houston Habitat for Humanity Rice Centennial HouseGreen Mountain Energy employees posing in front of the Houston Habitat for Humanity Rice Centennial House.

The Sun Club presented a check for $20,000 to the Houston Habitat for Humanity Rice Centennial House for a solar installation. The Centennial House is a Habitat home designed and built by Rice University students for a deserving local family. It was designed with a focus on energy-efficiency and is being built by volunteers over ten build dates. One of those build dates, April 14, is when we presented the check and then Green Mountain employees joined Rice student volunteers to work on the house. We put up the roof structure and walls. Read more about this incredible home here.