The 289 solar panels atop Dallas Academy received a Texas-size welcome during the school’s 6th annual DAwg Run Saturday, November 15th. The Green Mountain Energy Sun Club® “flipped the switch” for the new solar panels that are expected to produce 118,280 kilowatt-hours of renewable energy annually, which is the amount of electricity 59 households use in a year!
Along with seven local Green Mountain employees we kicked off the morning by running or walking in the race out by White Rock Lake, led by our Green Mountain electric bike! Then, we headed into the school gym to escape the chilly weather. Inside, we applauded the parade of students and their families who had made educational banners about solar energy, witnessed the country dancing choreography of students from a neighboring high school and cast our (unofficial) votes for the dog costume contest.
When the moment finally arrived, we proudly flipped the switch along with the school master, leaders in the community and the winners of the school’s solar poetry contest. Just when we thought it couldn’t get better, the student music group began singing “Here Comes the Sun” by the Beatles. Wow!
With a mission to restore the promise of full academic enrichment to students with learning differences, the school’s new solar installation is one of the largest arrays on any private school in the state and will include educational information about how solar works and function as a learning tool to teach the next generation about the benefits of renewable energy.
The Sun Club’s $30,000 donation to Dallas Academy sparked a larger campaign by the school, which raised an additional $120,000 from the community and a rebate from the local utility to increase the size of the solar array. The completed array fills 5,100 square feet on the roof, a little bit larger than a regulation football field without the end zones. This solar array marks the 74th solar project the Sun Club has contributed to since its founding in 2002.