|BRIT and Green Mountain Energy Company “Flip Switch” for new 52-Kilowatt Solar Array|
|Saturday, 21 May 2011 11:00|
Local dignitaries attend today’s solar array dedication; system to help power Botanical Research Institute of Texas’ new $48 million headquarters in Fort Worth Cultural District
FORT WORTH, TEXAS — The Botanical Research Institute of Texas’ (BRIT’s) new headquarters in the Fort Worth Cultural District is now being powered partly by the sun, thanks to Austin-based Green Mountain Energy Company and its customers. Green Mountain, Texas’ first competitive retail electric provider to offer cleaner energy, donated $130,000 through its Big Texas Sun Club® to help fund the 52 kilowatt (kW) solar photovoltaic (PV) system.
BRIT’s president and director, Dr. S. H. Sohmer (Ph.D., FLS), and Green Mountain’s director of Residential Sales, Kelly Brcka joined Green Mountain’s Super Earth mascot to “flip the switch” of the solar array today during a ceremonial dedication at BRIT’s new headquarters. The new 70,000-square-foot campus is located at 1700 N. University Dr., Fort Worth, Texas.
The solar photovoltaic (PV) system was manufactured by Solyndra. The cylindrical-designed tubes of the PV system were installed on the Archive Block roof of the BRIT facility and will help reduce the building’s energy use and carbon footprint, as well as educate visitors about the benefits of solar energy. The cylindrical tube design uses innovative cylindrical copper indium germanium diselenide (CIGS modules) and thin-film technology. The BRIT photovoltaic system was built with 285 solar panels. Each panel is made up of 40 individual modules, wired in parallel for high current, which capture sunlight across a 360-degree PV surface capable of converting direct, diffuse and reflected sunlight into electricity.
Green Mountain Energy Solar at the Botanical Research Institute of Texas is expected to produce more than 65,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per year by converting sunlight into pollution-free electricity. Together, the 285 large solar panels will be nearly 6.000 square feet and are expected to help avoid as much as 84,000 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) each year. That's the equivalent of not driving over 86,800 miles annually, or 362 one way road trips from Dallas to Houston.
Green Mountain helped fund BRIT’s new photovoltaic system through its Big Texas Sun Club, 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 http://greenmountainenergysunclub.com/about/). The mission of the Big Texas Sun Club is to fund, build and promote solar power in Texas while assisting organizations with a socially responsible focus to reduce their environmental footprint.
This was the 27th solar project built in Texas thanks in part to the Big Texas Sun Club. With this installation, Green Mountain’s Big Texas Sun Club will be responsible for helping to create over 320 kW of new solar energy capacity in Texas since 2002.
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 back by one of the nation’s largest renewable power producers. For more information, visit GreenMountain.com.