Dallas-area Habitat for Humanity is First to Install Solar Array

Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity is now partially powered by the sun, thanks to Green Mountain Energy Co. and its customers. Green Mountain, Texas’ first competitive retail electric provider to offer cleaner energy, donated $140,000 through its Sun Club to Dallas Habitat to fund its first solar array system. The new 47.52 kilowatt solar panel system is mounted on Dallas Area Habitat’s roof and will help reduce the building’s energy use and carbon footprint, as well as educate visitors about the benefits of solar energy.

“We are thrilled to fund this solar array for Dallas Area Habitat, an organization dedicated to creating affordable housing opportunities, revitalizing neighborhoods and building green homes,” said Paul Markovich, president of Residential Services, Green Mountain Energy Co.  “Green Mountain has been serving customers throughout the Dallas Metroplex since 2002. Donating solar systems like this one helps us give back to the communities where our customers live, work, shop and play, while supporting our mission to ‘change the way power is made.’”

The solar array is the first-ever installed on the office building and ReStore location for any Habitat for Humanity affiliate in the United States. There are over 1,500 separate affiliates of Habitat for Humanity in the U.S. alone. The array’s 176 large photovoltaic (PV) solar panels cover approximately 4,000 square feet and will convert sunlight into electricity, producing approximately 62,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of clean energy annually. It is estimated that the solar array will save Dallas Habitat over $286,000 over the course of its 30-year lifetime1.

The solar array will also have a positive impact on the environment. It is expected to avoid 68,000 pounds of carbon dioxide annually. That is equivalent to more than 2,800 houses turning off all their lights for one day, not driving 75,000 miles, or recycling 27,000 pounds of newspaper.

Green Mountain-funded Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity’s new solar array through its 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. The Sun Club’s mission is to fund, build and promote solar power in Texas while assisting organizations with a socially responsible focus to reduce their environmental footprint.  This is Green Mountain’s 33rd solar installation through the Sun Club since 2002 when the program was launched.

Additionally, the Green Mountain Sun Club has previously made 12 other solar donations to Dallas/Fort Worth-area organizations including: Dallas Children’s Theater, Eastfield College (Mesquite), Museum of Nature & Science (Dallas), Fort Worth Zoo, Botanical Research Institute of Texas (Fort Worth), Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame (Fort Worth), and Fort Worth Museum of Science and History.

“We are grateful to Green Mountain for providing this opportunity to make our office more energy efficient and reduce our environmental footprint,” remarked Bill Hall, CEO, Dallas Area Habitat.  “We are proud that the new homes we build are Energy Star Certified, LEED Certified and EPA Indoor Air Plus and thanks to the generosity of Green Mountain we are now able to apply some energy efficiency to our offices and enjoy some energy savings.”

An informative sign about the array and information about solar energy will be placed inside the lobby to help educate visitors about solar energy and its importance. A monitor in the lobby is also linked to the array to display real-time energy output data.  

In addition to this donation, Green Mountain also installed a 1.2 kW solar array on a Dallas Habitat for Humanity home in 2005. At the time it was the first solar array to be installed on a Dallas Habitat for Humanity home.