A 25 kW solar array, built by Green Mountain Energy Company began operation this week at Lake Farmpark in Kirtland, Ohio, 25 miles east of Cleveland.KIRTLAND, Ohio – May 6, 2002 [SolarAccess.com] The Green Mountain Energy solar array 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. 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 Energy 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 Energy solar array is mounted at ground level so that Farmpark visitors 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 kW facility will prevent nearly 35 tons of carbon dioxide 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.