KIRTLAND, Ohio, May 3, 2002 -- Green Mountain Energy Co., the nation's largest and fastest growing residential provider of cleaner electricity, on Thursday threw the power switch on a 25-kilowatt solar array at Lake Farmpark in Kirtland, 25 miles east of Cleveland.
The Green Mountain EnergySM solar array is one of the largest in Ohio and is the first commercial solar array in the state to be built exclusively because of the competitive market. It is designed to complement the operation of Lake Farmpark, a 235-acre educational facility that is devoted to teaching about farming and agriculture.
Paul Markovich, president of Green Mountain Energy Company's Midwest region, said the solar array is in Ohio because customers of the Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council (NOPEC) have demonstrated their commitment to cleaner energy resources.
"This solar facility would not be possible if NOPEC customers did not create the demand," said Markovich. "They already are buying Green Mountain EnergySM electricity that is 68 percent less polluting than what the average Ohio customer is buying."
The solar array is a functioning teaching vehicle for the 185,000 people who visit the park each year. Unlike rooftop solar panels, the Green Mountain EnergySM solar array is mounted at ground level so that Farmpark visitors -- especially school children -- easily can see the solar panels and learn about solar-generated electricity.
"This is a wonderful teaching tool that will help Farmpark visitors see how electricity is made and understand the benefits of pollution-free, solar electricity," said Lake Farmpark Administrator Andrew Baker.
The 25-kilowatt facility will prevent nearly 35 tons of carbon dioxide -- a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming -- from entering the air each year. That is equivalent to not driving almost 80,000 miles or not making the 145-mile trip from Cleveland to Columbus 550 times. The solar array consists of 260 individual solar panels and measures 106 by 46 feet. The complete solar electricity system was designed, commissioned and installed by BP Solar, one of the world's solar companies with nearly 20 percent of the global market.
In March 2001, NOPEC, a council of governments representing more than 100 communities, selected Green Mountain Energy Company as its electricity supplier. Green Mountain Energy Company began providing cleaner electricity to hundreds of thousands of NOPEC customers last September.
About Green Mountain Energy Company:
Green Mountain EnergySM electricity is a brand of cleaner electricity in the states where Green Mountain Energy Company (www.greenmountain.com ) does business. The company provides less-polluting electricity generated from sources including wind, solar, water, geothermal, biomass and cleaner burning natural gas. Nearly half a million customers in seven states: Ohio, Oregon, California, Texas, Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania have chosen Green Mountain EnergySM electricity. The Austin, Texas-based company was founded in September 1997 to change the way power is made.
NOPEC (www.nopecinfo.org ) offers Northeast Ohio competitive pricing for the nation's household services. NOPEC, using the advantages of bulk bargaining power and consumer advocacy, acts on behalf of Ohio residents to obtain the best products at the best prices. NOPEC is the nation's largest public energy aggregation and consists of more than 100 communities in nine counties, representing 450,000 energy customers. NOPEC was formed in November 2000 under Ohio's utility deregulation laws. NOPEC receives no taxpayer funding and its officers and directors serve without compensation. NOPEC's mission is to create customer bargaining power.
About Lake Farmpark:
Lake Farmpark is a family-oriented science and cultural center devoted to agriculture, farming and country life. This award-winning park has horses, pigs, lambs and even some unique farm animals like ostriches, llamas and alpacas. Visitors can milk a cow, see baby farm animals and take wagon rides. Lake Farmpark offers a country setting for offsite business meetings, company picnics and holiday parties. For more information about Lake Farmpark visit them on the web at www.lakemetroparks.com.