Friday, July 20, 2007

BP Pledges $50,000 In Solar Gear to Museum

DURANGO, Colo. — BP America announced an in-kind donation of $50,000 in solar equipment to the Discovery Museum at the Powerhouse in Durango. The donation includes high-efficiency solar panels manufactured by BP Solar. The solar electric equipment will provide a source of clean power for the interactive science and energy center and other programs planned for the site.

To provide the museum project with the most benefit from the donation, BP also issued a friendly challenge to the community to match its donation by Sept. 8, the date of the Discovery Museum’s first fund-raising gala.

Announcing the BP donation at an annual Discovery Museum/Children’s Museum “fun-raiser,” Dan Larson, BP director of public affairs, said the in-kind donation follows BP contributions of more than $20,000 since 2004. Larson challenged the community to contribute additional materials, expertise, and funds to augment the projected 10-kilowatt output of the photo-voltaic system. “By combining what the community and other companies can contribute with BP’s contribution, we can increase the amount of clean power this system can provide,” he said.

BP is one of the world’s largest energy companies. Its alternative energy business, launched in 2005, combines all of BP’s interests in low and zero-carbon power generation: wind, solar, and hydrogen power with carbon capture and storage. In Southwest Colorado, BP is a leading producer of natural gas from its operations center near the Durango-La Plata County Airport.

The Discovery Museum at the Powerhouse in Durango will be an interactive science and energy center for all ages. The museum, which will include sustainability labs, an outdoor science park, Sudden Science camps and after-school programs, is set to open in 2010 along the Animas River.

This in-kind donation will be the cornerstone of the Discovery Museum, and BP's challenge to other local businesses to help the museum reach its fund-raising goal is admirable. Hopefully other companies will rise to the challenge.

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