GSSJC Goes Green with Solar
The Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council office building, at 3110 Southwest Freeway, has acquired a new look.
Thanks to Austin-based Green Mountain Energy Company’s community outreach program, the council roof sports a new solar array comprised of 56 solar photovoltaic panels that deliver 10.08 kilowatts of clean, renewable electricity from 2,068 square feet of roof space.
The system also reduces greenhouse gases that would otherwise be emitted by coal and fossil-fuel burning power plants, specifically 36,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per year, 31 pounds of nitrous oxide, and 121 pounds of sulfur dioxide. It is equivalent to planting 1,450 trees, or not driving 30,000 miles, and will save the council $300,000 in energy costs over its 30-year lifetime.
Donated by Green Mountain Energy, the system will also provide a superb educational component not only for the Girl Scout troop it serves, but for parents of Girl Scouts interested in seeing first-hand how much a solar system can contribute in terms of clean energy.
The 10.8-kilowatt array, the first of its kind for a Girl Scout Council building in Texas but the 19th funded in Texas through Green Mountain Energy’s Big Texas Sun Club®, is part of a solar energy initiative that offers ratepayers the opportunity to fund such installations by paying $5 extra per month on their utility bills.
Paul Markovich, senior vice president of Residential Services, Green Mountain Energy Company, notes that the Girl Scout project is the sixth within the city of Houston, and represents Green Mountain’s commitment to both “green” energy and the community where it does business. Including the Girl Scout installation, Green Mountain has so far created almost 181 kilowatts of new solar energy capacity in Texas since the inception of its Big Texas Sun Club program in 2002.
The solar array was installed by Houston-based Standard Renewable Energy, or SRE, founded in 2006 to provide comprehensive energy solutions across the board through “best-in-breed” products and cutting-edge energy-saving and monitoring solutions. This is the ninth solar installation for SRE in conjunction with Green Mountain and the Big Texas Sun Club. In addition to a sign in the Council building lobby highlighting the benefits of the solar array, Green Mountain also donated a monitoring system where interested parties can go online to view real-time energy production data.