Dedication held today for nation’s first solar array system to help power Habitat for Humanity affiliate building
DALLAS – Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity is now partially powered by the sun, thanks to Green Mountain Energy Company and its customers. Green Mountain, Texas’ first competitive retail electric provider to offer cleaner energy, donated $140,000 through its Sun ClubTM to Dallas Habitat to fund its first solar array system. The new 47.52 kilowatt (kW) solar panel system is mounted on Dallas Area Habitat’s roof and will help reduce the building’s energy use and carbon footprint, as well as educate visitors about the benefits of solar energy.
Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity CEO, Bill Hall; Green Mountain’s President of Residential Services, Paul Markovich and Green Mountain’s Super Earth Mascot officially “flipped the switch” for the solar array today during a ceremonial dedication at Dallas Habitat, which is located at 2800 N. Hampton Rd., Dallas.
“We are thrilled to fund this solar array for Dallas Area Habitat, an organization dedicated to creating affordable housing opportunities, revitalizing neighborhoods and building green homes,” said Paul Markovich, president of Residential Services, Green Mountain Energy Company. “Green Mountain has been serving customers throughout the Dallas Metroplex since 2002. Donating solar systems like this one helps us give back to the communities where our customers live, work, shop and play, while supporting our mission to ‘change the way power is made.’”
The solar array is the first-ever installed on the office building and ReStore location for any Habitat for Humanity affiliate in the United States. There are over 1,500 separate affiliates of Habitat for Humanity in the U.S. alone. The array’s 176 large photovoltaic (PV) solar panels cover approximately 4,000 square feet and will convert sunlight into electricity, producing approximately 62,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of clean energy annually. It is estimated that the solar array will save Dallas Habitat over $286,000 over the course of its 30-year lifetime1.
The solar array will also have a positive impact on the environment. It is expected to avoid 68,000 pounds of carbon dioxide annually. That is equivalent to more than 2,800 houses turning off all their lights for one day, not driving 75,000 miles, or recycling 27,000 pounds of newspaper.
Green Mountain funded Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity’s new solar array through its Sun ClubTM, a unique program in which Green Mountain’s Texas customers can choose to support solar energy installations in Texas by contributing an additional $5 on their monthly Green Mountain Energy® electricity bill (for information, visit www.gmsunclub.com). The Sun Club’s mission is to fund, build and promote solar power in Texas while assisting organizations with a socially responsible focus to reduce their environmental footprint. This is Green Mountain’s 33rd solar installation through the Sun Club since 2002 when the program was launched.
Additionally, the Green Mountain Sun Club has previously made 12 other solar donations to Dallas/Fort Worth-area organizations including: Dallas Children’s Theater, Eastfield College (Mesquite), Museum of Nature & Science (Dallas), Fort Worth Zoo, Botanical Research Institute of Texas (Fort Worth), Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame (Fort Worth), and Fort Worth Museum of Science and History.
“We are grateful to Green Mountain for providing this opportunity to make our office more energy efficient and reduce our environmental footprint,” remarked Bill Hall, CEO, Dallas Area Habitat. “We are proud that the new homes we build are Energy Star Certified, LEED Certified and EPA Indoor Air Plus and thanks to the generosity of Green Mountain we are now able to apply some energy efficiency to our offices and enjoy some energy savings.”
An informative sign about the array and information about solar energy will be placed inside the lobby to help educate visitors about solar energy and its importance. A monitor in the lobby is also linked to the array to display real-time energy output data.
In addition to this donation, Green Mountain also installed a 1.2 kW solar array on a Dallas Habitat for Humanity home in 2005. At the time it was the first solar array to be installed on a Dallas Habitat for Humanity home.
Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity is the City of Dallas’ largest homebuilder and largest green builder, having constructed over 80 percent of all LEED Certified homes in Dallas. To date, Dallas Habitat has built over 100 LEED Certified homes and expects to complete a total of 300 LEED Certified homes by the end of 2012. Dallas Habitat recently announced a partnership with Solar Energy Solutions to retrofit over a dozen Habitat homes with solar panels. Dallas Habitat’s green building initiatives enhance the long-term affordability of its homes by reducing electricity costs to Habitat homeowners and helping reduce Habitat’s overall environmental footprint.
About Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity
Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity transforms neighborhoods by engaging families and community partners in creating affordable housing. Dallas Area Habitat’s vision is that all individuals and families live in thriving neighborhoods where hopes and dreams are realized for generations to come because poverty housing is socially, politically and spiritually unacceptable. Since 1986, Dallas Habitat has served over 1,000 low-income families using homeownership as an anchor for hope, change, and fellowship resulting in an investment of approximately $120 million in more than 20 neighborhoods that pays over $2 million annually in property taxes in Dallas County. Dallas Area Habitat is the largest builder of single-family homes in the City of Dallas. For more information visit www.dallas-habitat.org.
About 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 (NYSE:NRG), Green Mountain is backed by one of the nation’s largest renewable power producers. For more information, visit www.GreenMountain.com.
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