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Let the Sunshine In: The DCT Goes (Partly) Green

by Jerome Weeks 22 Sep 2010 4:35 PM

The Dallas Children’s Theater is now being powered partly by the sun — the first theater in Texas, thanks to Green Mountain Energy.


The Dallas Children’s Theater is now being powered partly by the sun — the first theater in Texas, thanks to Green Mountain Energy. The company installed a panel of photovoltaic cells on the top of the Rosewood Center of Family Arts, apparently with the aid of a large blue monster that subsequently assaulted (l to r)  Scott Martin, president of Green Mtn’s Commercial Division, DTC board president Julie Hersh and DTC founder and director Robyn Flatt.

Oh, the humanity.

The full release (and gory details) follow:


Dedication held today for first solar array to help power a North Texas theater

Organizations also announce DCT’s purchase of renewable energy

DALLAS —Dallas Children’s Theater at Rosewood Center for Family Arts is now being powered partly by the sun, thanks to Green Mountain Energy Company and its customers. Green Mountain, Texas’ first competitive retail electric provider to offer cleaner energy, donated $50,000 to DCT – through its Big Texas Sun Club® – to fund the solar power system. The Green Mountain Energy® Solar at Dallas Children’s Theater is the first solar array to help power a theater in North Texas.

Solar Dedication

Green Mountain’s Super Earth mascot joined DCT Board President, Julie K. Hersh; Executive Artistic Director and DCT Founder, Robyn Flatt; President of Green Mountain’s Commercial Division, Scott Martin; and North Dallas school children to “flip the switch” of the solar array today during a ceremonial dedication following DCT’s opening matinee of MISS NELSON IS MISSING!  DCT’s Rosewood Center for Family Arts is located at 5938 Skillman Street, Dallas.

The solar array will help reduce DCT’s energy use and carbon footprint, as well as educate children and parents attending the theater about the benefits of solar energy. The solar photovoltaic (PV) system was installed on the roof of the Rosewood Center.

Green Mountain funded DCT’s new solar array through its Big Texas Sun Club, a unique program in which Green Mountain’s Texas customers can choose to support solar energy development and education in Texas by contributing an additional $5 on their monthly Green Mountain Energy® electricity bill (for information, visit www.bigtexassunclub.com). This will be the 24th solar project built in Texas thanks to the Big Texas Sun Club. With this installation, Green Mountain’s Big Texas Sun Club will be responsible for creating over 223 kW of new solar energy capacity in Texas since 2002.

“Green Mountain’s Big Texas Sun Club customers helped make the Dallas Children’s Theater solar array and 23 others in Texas possible,” said Scott Hart, president of Commercial Services for Green Mountain Energy Company.  “Through their participation in the Big Texas Sun Club, these customers have helped support Green Mountain’s mission to change the way power is made and help us give back to the communities where our customers live, work, shop and play.

The Green Mountain Energy® Solar array at Dallas Children’s Theater is expected to produce more than 21,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per year by converting sunlight into pollution-free electricity. It is over 1,100 square feet and was built with 60 large solar panels. It will offset 27,800 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) each year. That’s the equivalent of not driving over 30,000 miles annually, or about 65 roundtrips from Dallas to Houston.

“We are grateful to Green Mountain Energy Company for this investment in DCT and for strengthening our green initiatives,” said DCT Board President Julie K. Hersh. “We knew DCT was playing an important role in conserving resources when we retrofitted the old Don Carter bowling alley into our beautiful new 58,000 sq ft Rosewood Center for Family Arts.  I am particularly excited to have the opportunity to educate children on the importance of renewable sources of energy.”

A sign about the array containing information about solar energy will be placed inside the theater to help educate patrons on solar energy and its importance. A monitoring web site will also be linked to the array to display real-time energy output data that anyone with Internet access can view. The solar panels were installed by Alternative Power Solutions. This was APS’s third solar array installation for Green Mountain and the Big Texas Sun Club.

DCT Purchases Renewable Energy from Green Mountain

During today’s event, DCT also announced that the theater is purchasing 100 percent renewable energy from Green Mountain for three years to offset DCT’s remaining electricity usage. The annual purchase is for approximately a million kilowatt hours (kWh) of green power. Based on DCT’s estimated annual usage, the purchase of 100 percent renewable energy is equivalent to avoiding more than 1.2 million pounds of CO2 a year or not driving more than 1.4 million miles for a year.

“The solar panels and renewable energy purchase represent DCT’s commitment to using clean renewable energy, a key component of conservation and smart business,” said John Sichter, Chief Administrative Officer for DCT.  “Our partnership with Green Mountain has made it possible to further DCT’s important Green Initiative. When the new contract starts in February 2011, energy savings are estimated at $30,000 annually due to lower market rates and solar energy generation.”

Sichter went on to say that the next project slated for DCT’s Green Initiative is a new roof for the Rosewood Center with much needed insulation and usage of recycled materials.  The Green Initiative of the Facilities Committee, which meets four times a year, is recruiting volunteers from construction and building management industries to serve as advisors and to identify potential sources of funding.

Dallas Children’s Theater

Rated by TIME Magazine as one of the top 5 theaters in the nation performing for youth, Dallas Children’s Theater is a professional theater serving more than 270,000 young people and their families through its 11 main stage productions, national touring company, and education and outreach programs. As the only major organization in Dallas focusing solely on youth and family theater, DCT builds bridges of understanding between generations and cultures, instilling an early appreciation of literature, art and the performing arts in tomorrow’s artists and patrons.

Green Mountain Energy Company

Green Mountain, the nation’s leading competitive retail provider of cleaner energy and carbon offset solutions, was founded in 1997 “to change the way power is made.” The company is the longest serving green power marketer in the U.S. and in 2009 was ranked the “Highest in Business Customer Satisfaction with Retail Electric Service” by J.D. Power and Associates1. Green Mountain offers consumers and businesses the choice of clean electricity products from renewable sources such as wind and water, as well as a variety of carbon offset products. Green Mountain customers have collectively helped avoid over 11.3 billion pounds of CO2 emissions. For more information, visit GreenMountain.com.

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1Green Mountain Energy Company received the highest numerical score among business electric service retailers in Texas in the proprietary J.D. Power and Associates 2009 Texas Business Retail Electric Provider Satisfaction StudySM. Study based on responses from 2,231 businesses measuring 7 retailers and measures opinions of businesses with their electric service provider. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of consumers surveyed May-June and September-October 2009. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com.

  • “Solar energy is a clean alternative energy source. It’s clear, given the current energy crisis, that we need to embrace new sources of renewable energy that are good for our planet. I believe very strongly in using technology to provide affordable options that all consumers can put into practice.”