Free solar energy for neighborhood nonprofits

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Our August cover story is all about energy, including Kiestwood resident Wally Gardipe, who is credited for the electricity he provides to the power grid from the solar panels on his roof. We also reported that 20 percent of U.S. annual electricity needs that could be met if every eligible home and business rooftop in the country installed solar panels.

Electric retail provider Green Mountain Energy is currently looking for a few nonprofits to which they can donate solar panels. This coming Friday, Aug. 2, is the deadline to apply, and the application is fairly simple. “It’s a straightforward, two essay submission,” says Green Mountain spokeswoman Katie Ryan. The nonprofit needs only to “demonstrate a commitment to sustainability and are able educate their community on the benefits of solar energy.”

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Green Mountain’s Sun Club, which provides the panels, has funded more than 550 kilowatts of solar power since 2002 for a variety of nonprofits, “including eight schools, five museums, four zoos and two community farms across Texas, New York and Pennsylvania,” according to the website. A quick glance at the map showing these installations doesn’t turn up any in our neighborhood, which is a shame since we have many worthy nonprofits.

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