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Lake Farmpark Solar

SOLAR  ELECTRICITY  DAWNS  IN OHIO AT  LAKE  FARMPARK
 Green  Mountain Energy Company Installs 25-kilowatt Solar Array

In photo above, kindergartners from Cleveland's Metro Catholic school look on as officials cut the ribbon and solar power dawns on Lake Farmpark in Kirtland, Ohio.  The 26 kW solar array was made possible by Green Mountain Energy Company and will serve as a learning experience for Farmpark visitors - especially children.  Doing the honors are (from left) Lake Metroparks Commissioner Barry M. Byron, commission president Ted Klammer, Green Mountain Energy Company's Midwest region president Paul Markovich, Lake Metroparks Commissioner Ellen Foley Kessler and Eastlake Mayor and NOPEC Chairman Dan DiLiberto. In early 2003 a 20 kW wind turbine was installed next to the solar array.  GEO conducted a wind & solar workshop at this showcase in May 2003.

Green Mountain Energysm Solar at Lake Metroparks

 The Green Mountain Energysm Solar at Lake Metroparks project is one of Ohio?s newest renewable energy facilities and one of the largest solar arrays in the state.  The ?photovoltaic? array is built for Green Mountain Energy Company on behalf of the Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council (NOPEC) customers who purchase Green Mountain Energysm electricity in northeast Ohio.  Commissioned in May 2002, the project is a partnership of Green Mountain Energy Company, NOPEC, Nuon Renewable Ventures LLC, and Lake Metroparks.

·          The array is rated to produce 31.7 kilowatts (kW) of direct current electricity (which is converted to 26 kW alternating current) at full sun conditions.  A typical home consumes approximately 1 kW of electric power averaged over the course of one year.

·          Since it is interconnected with the power grid, the array will avoid the release of approximately 34 tons of carbon dioxide each year based on the region?s mix of electric power plants.  Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming.  This is equivalent to not driving a car over 75,000 miles.

·          Dimensions of the overall project are 105 feet by 45 feet.  264 individual solar panels make up the array.  Each panel consists of 72 individual multicrystalline silicon solar cells laminated between an EVA backing and glass.  The panels and array are designed by BP Solar, a leading manufacturer and designer of solar panels and systems.

·          The array is owned and operated by Nuon Renewable Ventures LLC, a utility based in the Netherlands with experience in renewable energy power plant development and operation.

·          The array is tilted at a fixed angle to optimize the annual output based on the sun?s seasonal and daily angles of northeast Ohio.

·          Lake Farmpark is providing space to house the array and access to the power grid.  The array is physically connected to Lake Farmpark?s electrical system.

·          Green Mountain Energy Company has a long-term agreement to purchase the solar energy from the array for the NOPEC customers they serve in northeast Ohio. 

·          The array and its components are expected to last at least 30 years.  These types of systems operate silently with no moving parts, and are virtually maintenance free.

 How Solar Electricity Works

 The Green Mountain Energysm Solar at Lake Metroparks solar array operates on the photovoltaic effect, where photon energy in light is converted to electrical energy.  The many solar cells that make up the array are manufactured from a semiconductor material with special properties that create a flow of electrons ? electrical energy -- when exposed to light.  A network of electrical contacts in the cells, wires between the panels, and cables from the array collect this energy.

 The electricity from solar cells is produced in direct current, and needs to be converted to standard alternating current to properly operate electrical appliances and equipment found in homes and businesses.  The device that converts dc to ac is called an inverter.  The inverter allows the solar electricity to ?blend? with grid power seamlessly.

 

Source: U.S. Department of Energy

Other ways to use solar energy include operating direct current devices without the need for an inverter, storage of solar energy using batteries, and using the sun?s thermal energy to heat water or air.  Wind (caused by the uneven heating of the earth?s surface) and biomass energy (organic matter such as wood and agriculture wastes) are also derived from the sun?s energy and can be used to generate electricity.

Solar Energy ? A Renewable Resource 

Our sun is our greatest energy resource.  Every day enough sunlight falls on the earth?s surface to meet the world?s energy demand for 27 years.  Capturing energy directly from the sun to convert to electricity is more expensive than burning fossil fuels to create electricity, although prices have declined 15-20 times since solar was originally used for the NASA program in the 1960?s. With the help of improvements in technology, price reductions, and increase awareness of environmental issues, the solar industry today is experiencing annual growth rates of 20%. [Source: U.S. Department of Energy]

Please call Green Mountain Energy Company at (614) 761-8701 for more information.

Kirtland, OH - May 2, 2002  -- Green Mountain Energy Company, the nation's largest and fastest growing residential provider of cleaner electricity, today 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, which will be owned and operated by Nuon Ventures LLC, 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. Nuon is the Netherlands'largest utility and a leader in renewable energy development.

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 leading 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 the leading brand of cleaner electricity in the states where Green Mountain Energy Company 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 Energy sm electricity.  The Austin, Texas-based company was founded in September 1997 to change the way power is made.

About NOPEC:
NOPEC offers Northeast Ohio competitive pricing for the nation?s leading 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, or about membership to Lake Farmpark, please call 440-256-2122 or 1-800-366-FARM (3276), or visit us on the web at .   Lake Farmpark is a Lake Metroparks facility.

[Note: The following news release of Green Mountain Energy Company announces a 25
kW photovoltaic unit to be placed at Lake Farmpark at Kirtland, which is the first  commercial solar array in Ohio built exclusively for the competitive market.   GEO is working with Green Mountain Energy on the wind site monitoring study  mentioned in the release and expects to make an announcment about this effort  soon.  If you would like to join GEO on the Nov. 3 tour of the the 7.5 MegaWatt Green Mountain wind farm at Garrett, PA, see our GEO web site for details.  At the October 25 news conference by Green Mountain/NOPEC  Fletcher Miller, GEO Wind Chairman, unveiled the new GEO Wind Education Posters that appear at the GEO wind test tower at Lake Farmpark where the news conference took place.GEO (SEED-Ohio before 2000) has had educational posters there for about 4 years.]

Green Mountain Energy Company Bringing Solar Electricity to Northeast Ohio; Studying Wind Electricity in State
 
CLEVELAND. - Oct. 25, 2001 - Green Mountain Energy Company, the nation's largest and fastest growing residential provider of less-polluting electricity, today announced plans for a significant expansion of pollution-free solar and wind-generated electricity in northeast Ohio.  The company said it will help construct a 25-kilowatt solar array at Lake Farmpark in Kirtland, Ohio, 25 miles east of Cleveland, and also launched a study to learn whether Ohio winds are suitable for generating commercial electricity.

The Green Mountain Energysm solar array at Lake Farmpark will be the first commercial solar array in the state built exclusively for the competitive market, and one of the largest in Ohio. Additionally, the Green Mountain Energy Company Ohio wind study will be the first commercial wind analysis executed solely for the competitive market.

"This new solar facility in northeast Ohio and the Ohio wind feasibility study wouldn't be possible without our customers in the NOPEC territory and the demand they are creating," said Paul Markovich, president of the Midwest region for Green Mountain Energy Company. "We are committed to changing the way power is made in Ohio."

Solar Panels

The new Green Mountain Energysm solar panels at Lake Farmpark will generate
25 kW of electricity and will complement the operation of the park, a 235-acre educational facility in Kirtland, which is devoted to teaching Ohioans about farming and agriculture.  Park administrator Andrew Baker said the solar array would be a functioning learning vehicle for the 185,000 people who visit the park each year. "Our visitors - especially students - will be able to walk right up to the solar panels and see clean electricity being generated at Lake Farmpark," said Baker. 
 
The 25 kW of solar will prevent nearly 35 tons of carbon dioxide - a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming -- from entering the air each year. This is equivalent to not driving roundtrip from Cleveland to Columbus more than 275 times.  The solar array will be mounted at ground level and will consist of 264 individual solar panels.  The entire array will measure 106 by 46 feet.  The complete solar electricity system will be designed, installed and commissioned by BP Solar, a business unit of BP and the world's leading supplier of solar electricity products and services.  

Wind Study

Green Mountain Energy Company will select sites for extensive study by installing wind-monitoring towers.  The towers - approximately 160 feet in height  -- will be erected to record wind speed and direction. Plans call for the monitoring towers to be in place before the end of this year. 

The study, which will take approximately one year, is designed to determine the feasibility of constructing large-scale wind turbines that would generate pollution-free electricity in Ohio.   Data will be gathered by Springhouse Energy Systems, Inc. of Washington, Pa., a wind energy-consulting firm with more than 20 years of experience.

"We are absolutely committed to completing a thorough wind study in Ohio so we can bring what would be the first commercial wind-generated electricity to Ohio," said Markovich. 

Green Mountain Energy Company is already supplying wind-generated electricity in Texas, California, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania, where it's customers spawned the construction an eight-turbine wind farm - the first large-scale wind farm in that state.

About Green Mountain Energy Company:

Green Mountain Energy Company is the nation's largest and fast growing residential provider of less-polluting electricity generated from sources including wind, solar, water, geothermal, biomass and natural gas.  The company provides customers with electricity - marketed under the Green Mountain Energysm brand - that is dramatically cleaner than typical regional system power.  About half a million customers in California, Connecticut, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas have chosen Green Mountain Energy Company as their electricity provider.  Green Mountain Energy Company's customer demand has helped build a number of new renewable generation facilities in markets across the United States, including one of the largest wind farms on the East Coast in Garrett, Pa., and two of the largest solar facilities in northern California.  The Austin, Texas-based Company was founded in September of 1997.  For more information on the company's efforts to change the way power is made, please visit www.greenmountain.com

NOPEC:

The Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council (NOPEC) consists of 100 local communities in nine Northeast Ohio counties, representing nearly 500,000 energy customers. Formed last year under Ohio's utility deregulation laws, NOPEC is the nation's largest public energy aggregation. NOPEC receives no taxpayer funding, and its officers and directors serve without compensation.

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, or about membership to Lake Farmpark, please call 440.256.2122 or 1.800.366.FARM (3276), or visit us on the web at www.lakemetroparks.com. Lake Farmpark is a Lake Metroparks facility. 

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Contacts:       

Green Mountain Energy Company:
Jim Gravelle
614-761-8701 or 614.983.2513 (mobile)
Jim.gravelle@greenmountain.com

Molly Hanlon
512-691-6187 or 512.695.0043 (mobile)
molly.hanlon@greenmountain.com

Lake Farmpark:
John Venen
440 -256-2149
jvenen@lakemetroparks.com