Energy company donates solar array for new SFA facility
December 19, 2013 - University Marketing Communications
Green Mountain Energy Sun Club presented Stephen F. Austin State University with a $30,000 check Wednesday. The donation will be used to fund a solar array on the roof of the newly constructed Ina Brundrett Conservation Education Building at the Pineywoods Native Plant Center. Pictured (from left) are Trey Turner, executive director of development at SFA; Tony Napolillo, program manager for Green Mountain Energy Sun Club; Jill Still, vice president for university advancement; and Dr. Dave Creech, professor emeritus in the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture and director of SFA Gardens.
The grand opening of the new facility will be held in January, and the solar array, which is expected to offset 60 to 80 percent of the building's traditional energy use, will be installed later in 2014. In addition to providing a new source of energy for the campus, the array and its energy-use monitoring system will help educate the facility's thousands of annual visitors about solar energy.
The Sun Club is a unique program that enables Green Mountain Energy Company's residential customers and employees to donate solar technology to nonprofit organizations, including colleges and universities, said Tony Napolillo, Green Mountain Energy Sun Club program manager. SFA is one of only 20 organizations selected for solar technology funding from approximately 200 applicants.
Green Mountain Energy is the longest-serving renewable energy retailer in the country. Since the Sun Club's founding in 2002, the program has helped install more than 600 kilowatts of solar power capable of avoiding more than 924,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions each year.