Green Mountain Energy Company, Texas’ first competitive retail electric provider to offer cleaner energy, today dedicated its 25th solar array donation in Texas made possible by customers in its Big Texas Sun Club®. Green Mountain officially flipped the switch on a solar array for Texas Foundation for Educational Advancement, The da Vinci School’s brand new campus in Dallas, Texas.
Green Mountain donated $70,000 to the north Dallas early education center through its Big Texas Sun Club to fund the 28.8 kilowatt (kW) solar power system. The da Vinci campus is registered under the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program with anticipated Gold Certification.
Green Mountain’s Super Earth mascot joined Mary Ann Greene, founder of The da Vinci School; Geoffrey Orsak, Ph.D.; Chairman of The da Vinci Board; Amy MacDonald, director of Customer Relations at Green Mountain Energy Company; and da Vinci students to officially “flip the switch” of the solar array during a ceremonial dedication today. The solar dedication kicked off the school’s celebration of its new campus, which is located at 10909 Midway Rd., Dallas, Texas.
Green Mountain funded the da Vinci School’s new solar array through its Big Texas Sun Club, a unique program in which Green Mountain’s Texas customers can choose to support solar energy development and education in Texas by contributing an additional $5 on their monthly Green Mountain Energy® electricity bill.
This is the 25th solar project built in Texas thanks to the Big Texas Sun Club. With this installation, Green Mountain’s Big Texas Sun Club will be responsible for creating almost 252 kW of new solar energy capacity in Texas since 2002. That's equivalent to avoiding 2.8 million pounds of CO2, 827,000 houses turning off all their lights for a day or removing 91,000 cars off the road for a day. For information, visit bigtexassunclub.com. (Editor’s Note: The full list of solar installations is at the end of this document.)
“Green Mountain thinks it’s wonderful that the da Vinci School is the recipient of our 25th solar array donation through the Big Texas Sun Club,” said Amy MacDonald, director of Customer Relations, Green Mountain Energy Company. “Green Mountain’s Big Texas Sun Club customers helped make these solar arrays in Texas possible. They have supported our mission to change the way power is made, while helping us give back to the communities where our customers live, work, shop and go to school.”
The Green Mountain Energy® Solar at The da Vinci School will help reduce the school’s energy use and carbon footprint, save the school money and educate students and visitors about the benefits of solar energy. The solar photovoltaic (PV) system installed on the roof of The da Vinci School’s new Midway campus is expected to produce around 40,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per year by converting sunlight into pollution-free electricity. This represents approximately 22 percent of the school’s projected energy needs, and is expected to save the school as much as $250,000 in electricity costs over 30 years1.
“We are thrilled to have this solar array so we can teach the children about alternative power generation and stimulate their curiosity”, said Ms. Greene. “It is equally important to us that we know we are contributing to a cleaner, healthier world for all children that will in turn have a far reaching impact into their futures.”
The solar power system is over 2,500 square feet and was built with 144 large solar panels. It is expected to offset up to 75,000 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) each year. That’s the equivalent of not driving over 80,000 miles annually, taking 2,400 cars off the road for a day, or more than 21,000 houses turning off their lights for a day.
As part of the donation, two signs will be placed on the campus, one outside and one inside, to help educate students, parents and visitors about the array and the importance of solar energy. The solar panels and monitoring system were installed by Gridpoint, formerly Standard Renewable Energy. This was GridPoint’s 11th solar array installation for Green Mountain and the Big Texas Sun Club.
Texas Foundation for Educational Advancement, The da Vinci School
Serving families with children from eighteen months through the kindergarten and primer level through a unique, science-based curriculum, The da Vinci School’s mission is to help establish basic skills through teaching methods that enhance a child’s joy in learning, while fostering the child’s self-confidence and self-image. The school also employs environmentally-conscious practices in its everyday operations.
Green Mountain Energy Company
Green Mountain (GreenMountain.com), 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. and in 2009 was ranked the “Highest in Business Customer Satisfaction with Retail Electric Service” by J.D. Power and Associates2. Green Mountain offers consumers and businesses the choice of clean electricity products from renewable sources such as wind and water, as well as a variety of carbon offset products. Green Mountain customers have collectively helped avoid over 11.3 billion pounds of CO2 emissions.
1Estimated savings calculated by GridPoint based on assumed current electricity price of $0.115 per kWh and annual inflation rate of 5% over the estimated 30 year useful life of the facility.
2Green Mountain Energy Company received the highest numerical score among business electric service retailers in Texas in the proprietary J.D. Power and Associates 2009 Texas Business Retail Electric Provider Satisfaction StudySM. Study based on responses from 2,231 businesses measuring 7 retailers and measures opinions of businesses with their electric service provider. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of consumers surveyed May-June and September-October 2009. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com/.
Solar Facilities Made Possible by the Big Texas Sun Club Program:
• Green Mountain Energy® Solar at the Winston School (58 kW) — 2002
• Green Mountain Energy® Solar at Upper Kirby (43 kW) — 2002
• Alvin High School (1kW) — 2003
• Seabrook Intermediate School (1kW) — 2003
• Houston Habitat for Humanity (1.2 kW) — 2003
• Dallas ISD Environmental Education Center (1 kW) — 2004
• Dallas Habitat for Humanity (1.2 kW) — 2005
• Heard Museum (6 kW) — 2005
• Lake Sheldon (6 kW) — 2005
• Green Mountain Energy® Solar at the Ronald McDonald House (10.8 kW ) — 2007
• Green Mountain Energy® Solar at the Museum of Nature & Science – Dallas (640 watts) -- 2008
• Green Mountain Energy® Solar at the Houston Zoo (6.4 kW) – 2008
• Green Mountain Energy® Solar at the Waco Chamber of Commerce (9.6 kW) – 2008
• Green Mountain Energy® Solar at Workshop Houston (2.26kW) – 2009
• Green Mountain Energy® Solar at Satori Elementary School – Galveston (2.8 kW) – 2009
• Green Mountain Energy® Solar at Ballroom Marfa (5.25 kW) – 2009
• Green Mountain Energy® Solar at Eastfield College – Mesquite (4.4 kW) -- 2009
• Green Mountain Energy® Solar at Texas State Technical College - Harlingen (10.08 kW) – 2009
• Green Mountain Energy® Solar at Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council – Houston (10.08 kW) – 2009
• Green Mountain Energy® Solar at Chinquapin School – Highlands, Texas (3.2 kW) – 2009
• Green Mountain Energy® Solar at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History (10.2 kW) –2010
• Green Mountain Energy® Solar at the McAllen Chamber of Commerce – McAllen, Texas (2.3 kW) – 2010
• Green Mountain Energy® Solar at the Texas State Aquarium – Corpus Christi, Texas (10.08kW) – 2010
• Green Mountain Energy® Solar at the Dallas Children’s Theater – (16.2 kW) – 2010
• Green Mountain Energy® Solar at the da Vinci School – Dallas (28.8 kW) – 2010.