Source: Green Mountain Energy

In honor of the 41st Earth Day, Friday, April 22, the University of Houston and Austin-based Green Mountain Energy Company announced several new green initiatives for the University.

Green Mountain presented the University with a check for $140,000 to fund UH’s first solar array – a new 15.58 kilowatt (kW) AC solar panel system. The two organizations also announced the formation of the Green Mountain Energy Solar Internship and the naming rights of the Green Mountain Energy Company Private Dining Room.

“This is such an exciting partnership, and the University of Houston is honored to be chosen for this gift,” said Emily Messa, assistant vice president for University Services at the University of Houston. “Not only will the solar array display our commitment to green initiatives and help our university in conserving energy, but it will also become a valuable teaching tool for our next generation to continue this movement of sustainability.”

Emily Messa, assistant vice president for University Services, UH; Alex Ignatiev, professor, Physics, UH; made the announcements with Sean Figaro, Green Mountain Energy Company’s Houston market manager and Super Earth, Green Mountain’s mascot; and Recycle Man.on the UH campus located at 4800 Calhoun Rd.

“In recognition of Earth Day, we are especially pleased to donate the solar array system to the University of Houston, and work with UH to implement the Green Mountain Energy Solar Internship program,” said Sean Figaro, Houston market manager for Green Mountain Energy Company. “Both of these initiatives will help UH spread the word and educate thousands of students over the 30-year expected lifespan of the array about the benefits of solar energy; further supporting Green Mountain’s mission to change the way power is made; and help us give back to the Houston community where our customers live, work, shop and play.”

Green Mountain Energy® Solar at the University of Houston

The solar array, expected for completion by May 30, will be mounted on the roof of the University’s Central Utility Plant, which is located on the northeast side of campus. It will be the first solar array to power a University of Houston building. Once installed, 88 large photovoltaic (PV) solar panels, covering 2,000 square feet, will convert sunlight into electricity to produce up to 23,615 kilowatt hours (kWh) of clean energy annually. It is estimated that the solar array will save the University nearly $300,000 in electricity costs over its 30-year lifetime1. It will help reduce the University of Houston’s carbon footprint and energy costs, as well serve to educate students about the benefits of solar energy.

Green Mountain funded UH’s solar array 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 paying an additional $5 on their monthly Green Mountain Energy® electric bill (for information, visit

Source: Green Mountain Energy