New solar array provides renewable energy to first certified organic public garden in Texas
DALLAS – The botanic oasis at Texas Discovery Gardens is becoming even more sustainable through a new solar array, funded by a $50,000 grant from the Green Mountain Energy Sun Club®. The 410-square-foot solar array will power the garden’s Natural Learning Center and is estimated to produce 8,400 kilowatt-hours annually, which will save Texas Discovery Gardens more than 252,000 kilowatt-hours over the panels’ 30-year life span. The new solar array enhances the non-profit’s initiatives to preserve the environment and protect Texas wildlife.
“As the first public garden in the state to be certified organic by the Texas Organic Research Center, we strive to maintain our gardens sustainably in as many ways as we can,” said Dick Davis, executive director of Texas Discovery Gardens. “We are grateful to the Sun Club for providing us with the funding so we can incorporate this new solar array into our green initiatives. It will help us better serve our community as stewards of our environment.”
Since its founding in 2002, the Sun Club has donated more than $740,000 to solar projects in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and the solar installation at Texas Discovery Gardens marks the 81st solar project donated by the program. Contributions to the Sun Club come from Green Mountain Energy Company and its residential customers, employees and supporters who believe in the program’s mission to support local non-profit organizations through solar and sustainability projects.
“The Sun Club works with many great non-profits, and Texas Discovery Gardens is no exception. When they first applied for this renewable technology donation, we were inspired by the gardens’ sustainability initiatives and knew they would be a perfect fit for this project,” said Mark McShane, vice president of Texas Retail for Green Mountain Energy. “The gardens’ new solar panels will bring even more light to this natural wonder.”
Texas Discovery Gardens
Texas Discovery Gardens at Fair Park is a year-round organic urban oasis filled with natural wonders for visitors of all ages, including a new Snakes of Texas exhibit. The Rosine Smith Sammons Butterfly House and Insectarium unveils the fascinating lives of butterflies. The Gardens feature spectacular native and adapted plants grown using sustainable methods that conserve water and protect the environment. The EarthKeepers® Children’s Education Program offers year-round outdoor education.
Texas Discovery Gardens is a non-profit educational organization supported, in part, by funds from the Dallas Park and Recreation Department.
Green Mountain Energy Sun Club®
The Sun Club is a non-profit organization that donates solar power and sustainability projects to other non-profits using contributions from Green Mountain Energy Company, its residential customers and employees, and donors from around the country. Since the program’s founding in 2002, the Sun Club has donated more than $3.8 million to help install over 900 kilowatts of solar power, which has the potential to avoid more than 1.5 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions each year. That’s like planting 175 trees every year.
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 37.7 billion pounds of carbon dioxide emissions.