Marfa Dialogues

Solar Dedication with Green Mountain Energy

9 May 2009

Ballroom Marfa’s roof has a new addition, thanks to Austin-based Green Mountain Energy Company. Green Mountain donated the solar panels and funded the array’s installation through its Big Texas Sun Club® program. Green Mountain’s Big Texas Sun Club is a unique program in which the company’s Texas customers can choose to support solar energy installations and education in Texas by paying an additional $5 on their monthly bill. This is their 15th solar project built in Texas. With this installation, Green Mountain have been responsible for creating almost 155 kW of new solar energy capacity in Texas since 2002. The solar panels were installed by Houston-based Standard Renewable Energy.

The Green Mountain Energy® Solar at Ballroom Marfa is 5.25 kilowatts and is expected to produce more than 10,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year by converting sunlight into electricity. The solar array, that covers nearly 450 square feet of roof space and consists of 30 solar panels, will provide approximately 15 percent of our annual electrical power requirements. These panels will offset up to 13,700 pounds of carbon dioxide each year. That’s like not driving over 15,000 miles, or the annual sequestration of more than 800 trees.

To celebrate this new addition Ballroom planned a weekend full of events. On Thursday, May 7, 2009 at 10am Marfa Public Radio, 93.5 FM aired an interview with Ballroom Marfa’s Fairfax Dorn and Green Mountain’s Director of Marketing Services, Greg Latson, as part of the station’s Talk at Ten program series.

On Friday May 8, 2009 from 8-10pm at the Crowley Theater, Ballroom Marfa hosted film screenings followed by a Q&A with Standard Renewable Energy’s Jordan Fruge. Selected by Ralph McKay, the films to be screened include Don’t Kill the Weatherman by Martha Colburn, 2007; The Beekeepers by Richard Knox Robinson, 2009; and A Sense of Wonder by Christopher Monger, 2008.

On Saturday, May 9, 2009 from 2-5pm, Green Mountain’s Super Earth mascot, along with representatives from Green Mountain, Ballroom Marfa, and members of the community were on hand to officially “flip the ceremonial switch” of the solar array at 3.30 pm. Marfa Mayor Dan Dunlap proclaimed May 9, 2009 as Green Mountain Solar Energy at Ballroom Marfa Day, urged Marfa citizens and businesses to learn more about green power and to engage in other activities that encourage the use of clean, abundant, reliable, renewable energy. Cynthia Tauss Delgado West Texas/Upper Rio Grande Region Representative of the Office of the Governor was also on hand to share a letter of support from Texas Governor Rick Perry.

    Buy the limited-edition poster celebrating Green Mountain Solar Energy, designed by Flashbang Agency.