Austin, Texas-headquartered Green Mountain Energy Company and Ronald McDonald House Charities of Austin and Central Texas (RMHC-ACT) have begun installation of a 10.8 kW solar array on the rooftop of the new Ronald McDonald House at the Mueller redevelopment in Austin.
The new building, expected to open in November 2007, is the first solar-powered Ronald McDonald House in the country. In addition, the building will be one of two LEED Platinum buildings in Austin and among the first in the southwestern U.S.
The solar facility will be built with 54 PV solar panels, measure nearly 950 square feet, and power up to 15 rooms in the new Ronald McDonald House, the companies note. An educational kiosk located in the RMHC-ACT will explain how the solar array works and how it contributes to the building's energy efficiency.
‘We are proud to be the first Ronald McDonald House in the United States to incorporate photovoltaic solar panels into our design and to set the standard for innovative ways to incorporate cleaner renewable technologies,’ says Kent Burress, RMHC-ACT executive director. ‘The solar panels are an integral architectural feature of this new state-of-the-art Ronald McDonald House, making not only a strong visual statement but also bearing evidence to this House's commitment to sustainable design and protection of our environment.’