|25 October 2010
GSA Release No. 10-54
Director of Education, Communication, & Outreach
GSA celebrates installation of large solar array with local funding partners and officials
Boulder, CO, USA - The Geological Society of America (GSA) will formally celebrate the activation of a 65- kilowatt solar array this Thursday, 28 October, at its Penrose Place headquarters, with the solar installer Bella Energy and other local funding partners.
GSA is one of 12 Boulder-based nonprofits to receive funding from the City of Boulder’s ClimateSmart Solar Grant Fund and its $30,000 award makes it the largest grantee to date. Costs for the solar array were supplemented by funds from the GSA Foundation and GSA members, as well as $132,000 in rebates from Xcel Energy’s Solar Rewards Program.
The solar array—expected to offset about 35% of the building’s annual electric usage—is the first of three renewable energy projects planned for the Boulder headquarters. Energy efficiency retrofits began in 2008 and will continue through income generated from the organization’s building fund. The Society also maintains an Energy Conservation Fund that allows staff and its 22,000 members to “sponsor” individual solar panels in their name or to make a donation of their choice. The fund will also receive an estimated $10,000 in RECs (renewable energy credits) from Xcel each year unit 2030.
“We are grateful for the availability of local funding from Xcel Energy and the City of Boulder to make this first of many investments in renewable energy possible for GSA. The Society is committed to demonstrating environmental leadership and we want other commercial and nonprofit entities to know that this funding exists,” said GSA Executive Director Jack Hess. GSA’s building will use 100% renewable energy (wind & solar) by January 2011 according to Hess. “I would also like to thank our solar installer Bella Energy. Their professional workmanship and expertise was a key reason for the success of this project,” said Hess.
The Geological Society of America, founded in 1888, is an international scientific society with more than 22,000 members from academia, government, and industry in more than 97 countries. Through its meetings, publications, and programs, GSA enhances the professional growth of its members and promotes the geosciences in the service of humankind. Headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, GSA encourages cooperative research among earth, life, planetary, and social scientists, fosters public dialogue on geoscience issues, and supports all levels of earth science education.
The ClimateSmart Solar Grant Fund is dedicated for the purpose of providing financial assistance through grants toward installation of photovoltaic (PV) or solar thermal systems on housing for low- to moderate-income persons and on facilities housing Boulder nonprofit organizations. Since the first grant cycle in March 2008, over $200,000 has been awarded to twelve nonprofit organizations and homeowners.