The North American Butterfly Association (NABA) is demonstrating its mission of growing connections between people, plants, pollinators and the planet with a new solar array.
The 34.17 kW photovoltaic system will be located on the roof of the visitors’ pavilion at the National Butterfly Center (NBC) in Mission, Texas. It will house 102 solar panels, allowing for almost $250,000 in energy savings and a 50% reduction in CO2 emissions.
“This is a great example of how to use our natural resources responsibly, thus protecting our ecosystems,” said Marianna T. Wright, executive director of North American Butterfly Association. “We are grateful to Green Mountain Energy Sun Club for helping us to make this happen, and we look forward to educating others about the positive environmental impact solar energy can make.”
Each month, the NBC will track its electricity usage in kilowatt hours while calculating the carbon that was offset thanks to the use of solar energy. Visitors of the NBC and its website will be able to review the figures to gain a better understanding of how solar power reduces CO2 emissions.
The NBC has taken many steps toward sustainability, including rainwater catchment tanks and in-ground composting. The solar array will be its latest agent of conservation. The Green Mountain Energy Sun Club donated almost $90,000 to pay for the array, which includes panels, inverters, electrical equipment, hardware, permitting, labor and more.
“The National Butterfly Center’s focus on environmental education and conservation directly aligns with our mission of providing sustainable solutions that focus on the people and the planet,” said Jason Sears, executive director of Green Mountain Energy Sun Club. “We’re proud to support NABA for making a difference at the National Butterfly Center through the use of solar power, while showcasing the positive effects it can have on our planet.”
The NBC is strategically located in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, where more than 300 species of butterflies (of the 700 plus in the U.S.) may be found. Demonstration gardens, a native plant nursery, educational exhibits, walking and biking trails, endangered plant refugia and seasonal wetlands all can be found at the NBC.
This 100-acre wildlife center and native species botanical garden is helping to create a meaningful understanding of the parties and processes that create beneficial ecosystems. Visit the National Butterfly Center to learn more about their ecological efforts.
To see the impact Sun Club has made for other local communities, visit the Sun Club recipients page, and for general information or to apply for a sustainability grant for your nonprofit, visit gmsunclub.com.