SolarSPARC™ electricity plan enables customers to help build new solar in Texas and be rewarded for it
“For the first time, Texas consumers can choose 100 percent solar electricity for their home– even if they can’t put it on their roof,” says Shay Ohrel, product innovation manager, Green Mountain Energy Company. “The SolarSPARC product enables customers to help us ‘change the way power is made’ by proving demand for solar and leveraging our experience in renewable energy to bring more clean electricity options to Texas.”
Product Details and Availability
Households in competitive electricity markets in Texas can choose the SolarSPARC product starting Sept. 26, 2013.
- SolarSPARC electricity is made from 100 percent solar energy and, as Green Mountain solar projects are built, will include a portion of the new Texas-based solar generation
- Green Mountain will help customers build new solar generation by contributing $4 per month for each SolarSPARC customer towards developing new solar projects in Texas
- Customers will receive an annual bill credit of $11 per solar project they help fund. The credit increases each year as new facilities are funded and could amount to $121 per year for customers who participate in this program for 5 years
- Customers have the option of gifting their annual bill credit to Green Mountain Energy™ Sun Club™, which donates solar to non-profit organizations
- Enrollment is available over the phone, in person or online at www.greenmountain.com/solarSPARC
Green Mountain is kick-starting the effort by building the first project in advance of customer participation. A 10-kilowatt solar array is expected to break ground at the Green Mountain Energy® Wind Farm—Elbow Creek near Big Spring in West Texas later this year. Subsequent projects are planned every six months, with the size of each array dependent on consumer demand for the product. A national survey by Hart Research indicates that 9 out of 10 Americans support solar and want to see more of it.
Making the Case for More Solar in Texas
Texas is known for its wind power, but to date has lagged in solar installations for a number of reasons such as the lack of significant statewide solar subsidies. With over 200 days of sunshine and lots of land, Texas could be a major player in solar energy.
- Texas is ranked first in solar energy potential but 15th in solar energy installed according to Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).
- According to a report from the Environment Texas, “solar energy installations supported by Austin and San Antonio’s municipally owned electric utilities account for more than 85 percent of the solar energy capacity supported by all electric utilities statewide.” This high adoption rate is credited to solar-friendly policies and incentives.
- If you include all the usable land (not just rooftops) in Texas, you would have twice the solar potential of any other state, according to SEIA.
- Green Mountain was the only retailer dedicated to cleaner energy in Texas when the market opened to competition in 2002 and the demand from Green Mountain customers helped build the first and largest wind farm after Texans were given the right to choose their electric provider. Texas now leads the nation in wind generation.
“The more customers that sign up for the product, the more solar we’ll be able to build,” continues Ohrel. “We think Texas can be just as well known for solar as it is for wind, and with this product we’re giving customers a new way to drive local development and tap into Texas’s potential to be a solar power house.”
Green Mountain Energy Company
Green Mountain is the nation’s longest serving renewable energy retailer and believes in using wind, sun and water for good. In 1997, the company was founded with the mission to “change the way power is made” and was the first green power marketer in the nation. Green Mountain offers consumers and businesses the choice of cleaner electricity products from renewable sources, as well as a variety of carbon offset products and sustainable solutions for businesses. One of Green Mountain’s largest customers is the “world’s most famous office building,” the Empire State Building in New York City. Green Mountain customers have collectively helped avoid more than 24.5 billion pounds of carbon dioxide emissions.