On Monday, December 16 the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts will “flip the switch” on its new solar-powered carport. The 16.5kW solar array atop the free-standing structure covers 1,200 square feet and will generate 5,900 kilowatt-hours of electricity annually – offsetting about 5% of the museum’s annual electricity usage and avoiding an estimated 9,600 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) each year.
In addition to providing an additional source of shade, educational information will be installed on the structure about how solar works to spread awareness to visitors. The museum also plans to repave its parking lot with an environmentally friendly material that will absorb rainwater in order to prevent it from running off into the nearby Concho River.
The solar project was made possible by a $50,000 donation from the Green Mountain Energy Sun Club to the museum earlier this year. The Sun Club is a program enabling a company’s residential customers and employees, including those in the West Texas area, to donate solar power to nonprofits like San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts.
In addition to the solar carport installation, San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts is a recipient of the Sun Club Solar Leader Award and new member of the Sun Club Hall of Fame. The Sun Club Hall of Fame is a group of exceptional Sun Club donation recipients who seamlessly incorporate solar power into their initiatives and serve as a role model for organizations looking to adopt Earth-friendly practices.
“The Sun Club is proud to support nonprofit organizations like the San Angelo Museum of Arts, which not only provides such a beautiful learning and creative space to its community, but is also a steward of the Earth, eager to contribute to the betterment of our planet,” said Tony Napolillo, Sun Club program manager.
“We admire the museum’s enthusiasm in using new renewable energy to power its initiatives, and we’re thrilled to be ‘flipping the switch’ on these solar panels!” Napolillo added.
To celebrate the installation of this new source of renewable energy for the museum, the San Angelo community is invited to attend Family Day at the museum on Saturday, December 14. Visitors are welcome to create artwork representing the power of the sun and solar energy and submit their artwork to be hung in a gallery in the museum. Selected pieces will be on display during the Sun Club dedication ceremony and eligible for prizes.