The Plano-based nonprofit, My Possibilities, pioneered continuing education for adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities in North Texas when it opened in June 2008. In 2019, the organization is once again a North Texas pioneer, joining a growing percentage of businesses and professional organizations in the region that are tapping into solar energy.
My Possibilities selected Dallas-based Sunfinity Renewable Energy to design and install the 471-panel, 160-kW solar system on the Fischer Family School of Life Skills at the Campus for Higher Learning. The system is expected to offset 45% of the organization’s electricity needs and save more than $540,000 over its lifespan. My Possibilities currently serves more than 400 adults with disabilities onsite weekly.
“Schools are often ideally suited for solar,” said John B. Billingsley, chairman and CEO of Sunfinity. “Their power needs match well with the sun’s peak hours, and of course, the savings can be redirected to expenses that benefit the children and the school community versus utility bills.
“Texas schools are becoming more and more interested in solar energy, but to date, only a few schools in North Texas have implemented solar or renewable energy – it’s probably fewer than five schools. My Possibilities is on the cutting edge,” Billingsley added.
The solar array installed at My Possibilities was funded in part via a $200,000 grant from SUN CLUB, an initiative from Green Mountain Energy dedicated to investing in nonprofits to advance sustainability for people and for the planet. The cost of the solar system was further offset with a utility company rebate that is made available periodically. (SUN CLUB’S grant also provided funding for hydroponic sheds for the organization, which provide a low-energy, low-water environment for growing fresh produce year-round.)
“My Possibilities is dedicated to providing exceptional educational and vocational opportunities for adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. With many plans for the future, we will continue to meet the ambitious needs of our HIPsters* and expand the opportunities we provide,” said Michael Thomas, executive director. “Solar is an investment that will pay us back for decades to come — not to mention making our environment cleaner, safer and providing a learning tool for our HIPsters.”
*My Possibilities refers to their students as HIPsters – Hugely Important People.
News item from Sunfinity Renewable Energy