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Earth Day Festival in Forest Park Brings Sustainability Awareness to Event
Earth Day Festival in Forest Park
The 25th anniversary of the St. Louis Earth Day Festival was celebrated with a special proclaimation by St. Louis Mayor Francis G. Slay, who spoke about the City's newly launched Monarch Garden Initiative to connect people with urban nature and encourage sustainability. The STL250 birthday cake in front of The Muny featured artwork by artists, Steve Pollihan and James Van Well.
Earth Day Festival in Forest Park
Hundreds of families explored a variety of booths at the Earth Day Festival on The Muny grounds in Forest Park featuring hand crafted items, alternative transportation and fuels; peace garden; dog washing demonstrations; energy and green building; rain barrels; the Farmers Market; items for home and pets; sustainability installations; yoga and wellness; information on reduce, reuse, recycle; and live performances. The festival also offered diverse cuisine ranging from organic vegetarian jambalaya and BBQ pork bao to homemade kambucha and a hummus bar.

Missouri History Museum Goes Green with Solar Array Missouri History Museum Goes Green with Solar
ST. LOUIS, MO, (, April 27, 2014 - Microgrid Solar installed a 25 kilowatt solar array on the roof of the Missouri History Museum in Forest Park, as a part of an innovative program offered by Microgrid, in partnership with US Bank, that is designed to make it easy for nonprofit orgaations to install solar.

The program, called the St. Louis Nonprofit Solar Leasing Program, enables St. Louis area nonprofit organizations to enter into a solar lease agreement that eliminates the upfront cost and produces immediate cost savings on electricity. This solar installation is part of an ongoing sustainability push by the Missouri History Museum.

"The Missouri History Museum is committed to being a good steward of the environment. Museum staff actively seeks opportunities to incorporate best green business practices into museum operations," said Dr. Frances Levine, president of the Missouri History Museum. "The solar array is latest of many innovations we have adopted."

The system is projected to produce over 32 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity each year, which is enough to power approximately three homes.

The 25 kW solar array consists of 100 solar modules on the roof of the museum. The panels are installed on a ballasted racking system, so there are no holes in the roof to invite leaks. The DC electricity is fed into two inverters in a mechanical room, where it is converted to AC to feed into the building's electrical distribution system.

In a release, Steve O'Rourke, Vice President of Consulting Services at Microgrid, stated "We are thrilled to be able to help the History Museum cut its operating costs and carbon footprint. Seeing the latest technology on this historic building makes this even more meaningful."

UniGroup Goes Solar for Earth Week 2014
FENTON, MO, (, April 27, 2014 - UniGroup, the parent company of moving, logistics and transportation leaders United Van Lines, Mayflower Transit, UniGroup Relocation and UniGroup Logistics, has commissioned a new, 100-kilowatt solar photovoltaic electric installation atop the roof of its 184,000 square foot headquarters in Fenton, Mo.

The solar panels will be officially dedicated in a ribbon cutting ceremony with UniGroup President Rich McClure at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, April 29.

"UniGroup is committed to continuously improving our environmental impact and being a responsible corporate citizen," McClure said in a release. "The instillation of our first solar array is just one of many efforts we are making, including a new induction lighting system and a significant single stream recycling program, which has cut the amount of trash produced at our headquarters in half."

The energy output of the system is expected to exceed 120,000 KWh annually and will prevent the production of over 110 tons of CO2 each year. This is approximately equivalent to the annual energy consumption of 11 typical American homes. It offsets the same amount of CO2 produced by burning half of a railcar of coal or 10,000 gallons of diesel fuel a year. The array is a grid-tied, battery-less design, meaning all of the electricity is immediately used on-site at UniGroup.

To monitor the impact of the new rooftop solar panels, UniGroup has installed a real-time monitoring system that will greet and educate UniGroup's visitors and employees about the virtues of renewable energy via a large wall-sized display in the company's main lobby. The information is also available to the public online at

UniGroup choose local solar integrator StraightUp Solar, a St. Louis-based solar energy integration company to install its solar arrays. Since 2006, the company has sourced and installed 3+ MW of solar systems across the region including projects the St Louis Zoo.

Eric Swillinger, vice-president and co-owner of StraightUp Solar added, "StraightUp Solar exists for simply one reason: to inspire a solar tribe to create a sustainable world. When the opportunity arose to install UniGroup's first solar array we knew instantly that UniGroup's sustainability vision was consistent with our company's values to not only respect the environment, but also to set an example proving that we all can make meaningful sustainability choices today that will provide real energy, environmental, and economic security benefits for decades to come."

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STL-News is owned and maintained by the Moore Design Group as a special feature of the Saint Louis Front Page for the sole purpose of disseminating news and information about the Metropolitan Saint Louis area. Text or graphics may not be copied, rewritten or distributed in any manner whatsoever without written permission. For more information, contact All rights reserved world wide © 1996 - 2014 Moore Design Group.

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