The Green Mountain Energy™ Sun Club™ announced the completion of two $20,000 solar installations it donated to Plano Senior High School (PSHS) in Plano, Texas, and Miller High School in Corpus Christi, Texas. The solar installations will help reduce the schools electricity consumption by drawing from a new, renewable source of energy.Â Also, students will gain access to robust monitoring and reporting technology for the arrays thanks to an additional contribution from Pecan Street, Inc. The Sun Club is a unique program enabling Green Mountain Energy Company’s employees and customers to donate solar power to non-profits.
“The Sun Club is excited to contribute to the unique partnership between these innovative learning institutions and Pecan Street through the donation of these solar arrays,” said Tony Napollilo, Sun Club program manager. “The future of our planet lies in the hands of our young people, and the ability to put those hands on renewable energy tools and education to learn first-hand about the importance of preserving and properly utilizing our natural resources is truly a gift that will keep on giving for years to come.”
Plano Senior High School Incorporates Renewable Energy into Everyday Conversations with High-Visibility Array
A two-time National Blue Ribbon School, and a Texas Exemplary School, PSHS has a long history of academic excellence and innovative programs that meet the needs of its highly diverse community. Housing only juniors and seniors, PSHS offers a full range of courses in all academic areas including honors and Advanced Placement.
The 6-kilowatt solar array is mounted on a stand installed on the grounds of the school campus. The array is expected to generate 8,630 kilowatt-hours of pollution-free energy, avoiding an estimated 9,900 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2), each year. That’s like not driving 11,000 miles!
"The real excitement for us lies in the possibilities this will bring in terms of education.Â Our students will be able to track and analyze their own energy use at the school and see the impact of the solar panels in real time and see the benefits of solar energy and energy conservation,” said Mark Yoder, AP Environmental Systems teacher at Plano Senior High School.Â “We're hopeful that any changes we can make in the students' thinking here will have a compounding influence in the community after they leave here.Â It's a wonderful opportunity that we've never had before, and we're very thankful."
Miller High School to Incorporate Solar Data into Science and Math Curriculum
Roy Miller High School is the oldest high school in Corpus Christi, Texas, where it is known as a center for science and technology and is home to Metro Prep, a center for creativity, innovation and design.
The roof-mounted 5.5-kilowatt solar array covers about 420 square feet and is expected to generate 7,070 kilowatt-hours of pollution-free energy each year. The array will help the school avoid an estimated 8,100 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) each year. That’s like not driving 9,000 miles.
“Miller High School is so fortunate to have been selected to receive this donation. We are looking forward to finding unique and innovative ways of utilizing the data in our student’s everyday work. This is a real-time, hands-on learning opportunity for our students and we are extremely grateful, said Mrs. Stella Torres, Miller High School Principal.
Monitoring Technology from Pecan Street Provides Additional Data and Learning Opportunities
Headquartered at The University of Texas at Austin, Pecan Street’s research is focused on advancing understanding and solutions addressing utility system reliability, climate change, renewable energy integration and customer needs and preferences. The solar arrays installed by the Sun Club at the high schools come with Pecan Street’s dynamic monitoring services which track real-time energy data, enabling students and their teachers to develop valuable data science and engineering skills, including how to create simulated applications and products for energy management. Students will further use this real world science and engineering experience as part of their curriculum.
“These students will have access to the same kind of innovative research as our faculty and student researchers at universities around the world,” said Pecan Street CEO Brewster McCracken. “Our focus is on accelerating innovation in energy, and strong STEM programs and students is a critical ingredient.”
About Green Mountain Energy™ Sun Club™
Green Mountain Energy™ Sun Club™ (gmsunclub.com) is a program empowering Green Mountain residential customers and employees to donate solar power to sustainably minded non-profit organizations.Â Since the program’s founding in 2002, the Sun Club has helped install more than 600 kilowatts of solar power, which could avoid more than 924,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions each year. That’s like planting 110 trees every year.
About Green Mountain Energy Company
Green Mountain (greenmountain.com) 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 24.5 billion pounds of carbon dioxide emissions.