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With sustainability at the forefront of Splashpad® design, the first solar powered Splashpad® will be built in Houston's Fifth Ward,. The site will include 18 solar panels that are expected to generate approximately 6,600 kilowatt hours of electricity annually. The power generated by the solar panels over the course of a year is expected to offset all of the electricity used by the facility -- enabling the Vortex Splashpad® to have a  "net zero" electrical footprint.

The Splashpad® was donated by Reliant, a company that 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 across the US.

"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.

The Splashpad® is scheduled to open later this fall and should be fully powered by solar energy next year.  It will include a Smartflow EV Command Center which is a self-enclosed system that is ideal to keep equipment out of sight and close to the Splashpad®. The below-grade enclosure is reinforced with a stainless steel frame and durable non-ferrous walls providing excellent durability. The stainless steel access hatch and step-down grate provide easy access for operators. A custom Capture & Repurpose Percolation System was built to capture the effluent water and purify the water through percolation before returning it to the water table. This innovative system requires no chemicals and does not put excess demands on the local public sanitation system. 

Construction will begin in early September and is expected to be completed before year's end. The Splashpad® will be open year round and will store energy over the fall and winter months when usage will be less. In addition to the solar panels, there will be educational components of the park that will explain how solar power works

“It will create a gathering community in terms of multiple generations and a lot of families and students, The Splashpad® will be used by youth and children, math and science departments, as well gather parents of those kids and people from the community outside of the Fifth Ward” said Kathy Payton, president and CEO of the Fifth Ward Community Redevelopment Corporation.

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