Corporate Social Responsibility writer for Justmeans, Antonio Pasolini is a journalist based in Brazil who writes about alternative energy, green living and sustainability. He also edits Energyrefuge.com, a top web destination for news and comment on renewable energy and Elpis.org, a recycled paper bag/magazine distributed from health food stores in London, formerly his hometown for over a decade....
Texan Sustainable Energy Company Celebrates 10th Anniversary
Green Mountain Energy Company, an Austin-based electricity provider, is celebrating its 10th anniversary. The company set up shop when the state of Texas opened its electricity market to full competition on January 1, 2002 to allow Texans to choose their provider.
Green Mountain was the first retailer to offer sustainable, alternative energy in the state. "Opening the market to retail competition enabled Texans to not only choose their electric provider, but also choose the source of energy they want to support," said Paul Thomas, president of Green Mountain Energy Company. "As the first electricity provider in Texas to offer renewable energy to residential and commercial customers, Green Mountain is proud of the role we have played in the growth of renewable energy in the state and the success Texas has modeled for other states."
To mark its tenth anniversary in the Texan electricity market, Green Mountain will be using social media, customer engagement programs, festivals and events.
Mr. Thomas said Texans are increasingly interested in sustainable energy and recognize its critical role to preserve the environment and the region's economic future. Since 2002, renewable energy has grown from 1% to 5% of Texas' electricity mix, mostly through wind power, which has grown 10-fold from 2.6 million megawatt hours (MWh) to 26 million MWh. Texas leads the nation in the amount of installed wind generation capacity, with 6.4% of the state's power provided by wind as of 2010.
Solar power also plays a significant role, generating 8.2 million kilowatt hours (kWh) annually in the state, or the equivalent of covering seven football fields with solar panels.
Sustainable energy has also driven job creation in Texas. In 2010, nearly 10,000 jobs in the state were directly related to the wind energy industry.
Since 2002, Green Mountain has delivered more than 10.7 billion kWh of cleaner energy to Texas customers. The company also has spurred the development of 32 new solar energy facilities at various schools and non-profit organizations in Texas through the Green Mountain Energy Sun Club. It has prevented the emission of 8 billion pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2), which is the equivalent of not driving nearly nine billion miles.
Image credit: Green Mountain Energy Company