Houston Food Bank to Serve Thousands of Solar-Powered Meals with Renewable Energy Installation

The renewable power from the 280 solar panel array is expected to generate the equivalent of two meals per hour, thanks to contributions from Green Mountain Energy Sun Club® and NRG Energy

Houston, TX –Texas sunshine will soon begin feeding electricity to the Houston Food Bank with the completion of a 280 solar panel installation, thanks to donations from the Green Mountain Energy Sun Club®  and NRG Energy totaling $200,000. This new source of renewable power, expected to begin generating electricity by the end of the month, will aid the Food Bank in its mission to alleviate hunger in the Houston area by generating clean energy onsite, reducing its electricity costs. This solar array, which covers 5,300 square feet of the roof, is expected to save enough in energy costs to fund the equivalent of just over two meals per hour for hungry children, seniors and adults in the Houston community every year.

“Using renewable energy as a tool to decrease the size of our carbon footprint is simultaneously helping us stamp out hunger in Houston,” said Brian Greene, Houston Food Bank President and CEO. “This new solar array is improving our ability to serve those in need, enabling us to save on electricity costs and give back even more to those impacted by hunger in our community.”

The solar donation was made possible in part by a $100,000 donation from the Sun Club thanks to contributions from Green Mountain Energy Company and its employees and customers, including those in the Houston area. The Sun Club accepts applications from non-profit organizations year round and chose the Houston Food Bank as a recipient based on the organization’s commitment to the Houston community, where many of its customers and employees live and work.

“In Texas, according U.S. Department of Agriculture, 6.5% of households experience hunger, and the work that the Houston Food Bank is doing to combat that statistic takes continuous effort and dedication,” said Tony Napolillo, program manager of the Sun Club. “This solar donation will reduce the organization’s ongoing operational costs, helping free up funds to provide additional healthy meals, thanks to the power of the sun.”

NRG’s donation of $100,000 to the Food Bank doubled the benefit to the non-profit. NRG is a longtime supporter of the Food Bank, including providing funds to support the Houston Food Bank’s emergency operations in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike in 2008 and personnel to maintain the Food Bank’s emergency generators that can ensure the refrigerators and freezers keep food safe during outages.

“For years we’ve worked to support the Food Bank’s impact on the Houston community through employee volunteering and food drives, so we’re thrilled to be able to contribute solar to their mission,” said John Ragan, president of NRG’s Gulf Coast operations and chairman of the Houston Food Bank Board of Directors. “NRG is proud of the environmental benefits our growing solar business offers, and we’re excited to bring that same benefit to an organization that provides such a vital service to the food insecure in our community.”

The Houston Food Bank is the largest food bank in the nation, helping feed 800,000 people each year, and relies on donations from corporations, foundations and generous individuals to achieve its mission of leading the fight against hunger. The 308,000-square foot facility, used to store and supply food to those in need, uses a large amount of electricity that will now be partially generated onsite by the solar installation.

“We hope this isn’t the last of the solar we install,” continued Greene. “I’d love to see our entire roof full of solar panels.”

Houston Food Bank

The Houston Food Bank is the largest source of food for hunger relief charities in 18 southeast Texas counties. Through a network of 600 food pantries, soup kitchens, senior centers and other agencies, 800,000 people are fed each year.

Founded in 1982, the Houston Food Bank is a certified member of Feeding America, the nation’s food bank network.

Website: HoustonFoodBank.org
Facebook: facebook.com/HoustonFoodBank
Twitter: @HoustonFoodBank
YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/houstonfoodbank

Green Mountain Energy Sun Club®

Green Mountain Energy Sun Club® is a unique program that donates solar power to sustainably minded non-profit organizations using contributions from Green Mountain Energy Company’s residential  customers and employees. Since the program’s founding in 2002, the Sun Club has donated more than $3 million to help install over 700 kilowatts of solar power, which has the potential to avoid more than 1.2 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions each year. That’s like planting 145 trees every year.

For more information, or to contribute to the Sun Club, visit www.gmsunclub.com.

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. The company was founded in 1997 with the mission to “change the way power is made.” 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 30.6 billion pounds of carbon dioxide emissions.

Follow us at facebook.com/greenmountainenergycompany or twitter.com/greenmtnenergy

NRG Energy

NRG is leading a customer-driven change in the U.S. energy industry by delivering cleaner and smarter energy choices, while building on the strength of the nation’s largest and most diverse competitive power portfolio. A Fortune 250 company, we create value through reliable and efficient conventional generation while driving innovation in solar and renewable power, electric vehicle ecosystems, carbon capture technology and customer-centric energy solutions. Our retail electricity providers serve almost 3 million residential and commercial customers throughout the country. More information is available at www.nrg.com. Connect with NRG Energy on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @nrgenergy.

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