HOUSTON–()–Families in Houston’s Fifth Ward will soon have a fun place to play and stay cool thanks to Reliant’s donation of a solar-powered splash pad water play area. The 2,340 square-foot structure will include 18 solar panels that are expected to generate approximately 6,600 kilowatt hours of electricity annually. The power generated by the solar system over the course of a year is expected to offset all of the electricity used by the facility — enabling the splash pad to be “net zero.”
“By including renewable solar power in this water play area, Reliant is showing our residents how sustainability can be part of everyday life while providing a new place to play, relax and have fun. We appreciate this generous and visionary gift.”
“It’s not every day you get an opportunity like this to bring joy to a child’s life while inspiring and educating the community about the possibilities of solar power, but that is exactly what we are doing with this project,” said Jason Few, President, Reliant, and Executive Vice President and Chief Customer Officer for NRG Energy, Reliant’s parent company. “Some of our city’s most disadvantaged residents will now have a place to play, stay cool and have fun compliments of the sun and Reliant!”
This investment in the community is part of a larger rejuvenation project planned by the Fifth Ward Community Redevelopment Corporation (CRC) beginning this fall. The Fifth Ward CRC was organized in April of 1989 by Fifth Ward residents, business owners, ministers, educators and civic leaders with a vision of making the Fifth Ward more beautiful and a better place to live, work and play. It is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit Texas Corporation.
“Houston’s business community is making a difference by helping revitalize a historic and crucial part of our community,” said Kathy Payton, President of the Fifth Ward CRC. “By including renewable solar power in this water play area, Reliant is showing our residents how sustainability can be part of everyday life while providing a new place to play, relax and have fun. We appreciate this generous and visionary gift.”
The Reliant solar-powered splash pad will be located in the 3700 block of Lyons Avenue. It will include a central command and electrical center below-ground, a water percolation system to keep fresh and clean water flowing in the play area and an area with picnic tables and solar shades. Construction will begin in early September and is expected to be completed before year’s end. The splash pad also will be educational, including on-site learning modules designed to teach children and other visitors about energy use.
The splash pad will be powered through solar shades around the installation. The 18 solar panels in the system will create shaded areas with numerous park benches and tables located underneath the panels for families to gather and spend time together in and around the water.
“This project connects our renewable energy focus directly to energizing a neighborhood in a positive way,” said Andrew Dunlap, DLR Group Designer. “Reliant and the citizens of the Houston Fifth Ward have been great partners in developing and designing the splash pad, which is sure to become a focal point where families connect and community bonds are strengthened.”
Reliant provides electricity, energy services and smart energy solutions to more than 1.5 million retail customers including homes, businesses, manufacturing facilities, government entities and institutions in Texas, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. As part of NRG (NYSE: NRG), Reliant is backed by a Fortune 500 company that is at the forefront of changing how people think about and use energy. NRG is a pioneer in developing cleaner and smarter energy choices for its customers and its diverse power generating facilities can support over 20 million homes nationwide. For more information about Reliant and their involvement with the Fifth Ward Community Redevelopment Corporation, please visit www.reliant.com. Connect with Reliant on Facebook at facebook.com/reliantenergy and on Twitter @reliantenergy.
About DLR Group
DLR Group is a design firm providing architecture, engineering, planning, and interior design to offices around the world. Their focus to “elevate the human experience” inspires sustainable design for a diverse group of public and private sector clients while contributing to local communities, neighborhoods and the planet. Visit dlrgroup.com or on Facebook and Twitter