Power for a Floating Greenhouse is Bigger and Better

The Science Barge greenhouse is an environmental education center that runs completely off the grid in Yonkers, New York. Acting as a prototype sustainable urban farm, the Barge serves as an example for sustainable rooftop gardens that don’t require soil and have considerably less space than conventional gardens.

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As it floats on the Hudson River, the Science Barge grows fresh produce, like lettuce, tomatoes, melons and eggplant, while operating with zero net carbon emissions, zero pesticides and zero runoff. The energy needed to power this vessel comes from solar panels, wind turbines and biofuels.

The Green Mountain Energy Sun Club donated $50,000 to the Science Barge to enlarge the solar array by 3.4 kilowatts and to replace the existing energy storage equipment. The solar array allows the Barge to generate even more clean power while acting as a learning tool to show how clean energy can successfully support sustainable farming. When the sun’s not shining, the Barge is still able to use solar energy thanks to the energy storage equipment, which also keeps this floating farm off the electricity grid.

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“The Sun Club® loves working with unique nonprofits, and the Science Barge is an excellent demonstration of renewable energy and environmental education,” said Mark Parsons, president of the Green Mountain Energy Sun Club and vice president and general manager of Green Mountain Energy Company. “We’re proud to support the Science Barge by helping the sustainable urban farm operate completely off the grid.”

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Since its founding in 2002, the Sun Club program has donated more than $4 million to sustainable programs focusing on renewable energy, energy efficiency and resource conservation in numerous Texas communities and markets in the Northeast. Contributions to the Sun Club come from Green Mountain Energy Company’s residential customers in Texas, as well as from Green Mountain, its employees and other Sun Club supporters. Green Mountain’s customers are vital to the Sun Club mission of supporting local nonprofit organizations through solar and sustainability projects.

Nonprofit organizations interested in a sustainability grant from the Sun Club can apply for projects under any of the program’s new pillars:

  • Renewables – solar, other renewable technologies
  • Environment – water conservation, air quality, waste reduction, sustainable agriculture
  • Community – energy efficiency upgrades, green commuting initiatives, public space enhancements
  • Education – environmental stewardship, promotion of careers in sustainability

Thank you to all of the Sun Club supporters for believing in the mission and for helping make donations possible, like this one at the Science Barge. Click here to make a one-time, tax-deductible donation to the Sun Club or visit www.gmsunclub.com to learn more. Nonprofits interested in applying for a donation can submit an online application.

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