This is no football fantasy: NFL stadiums are aiming to be a little greener. At MetLife Stadium — home to both the New York Giants and Jets — about 1,350 solar panels form a ring around the top of the structure. This solar panel ring, designed by NRG Energy, can change color and produce about 350,000 kilowatt-hours, which is roughly 10 percent of the stadium’s power needs on game days.
MetLife Stadium is the biggest venue in the NFL.
NRG Energy Solar Stadiums Catching On
The Giants and Jets aren’t the only team with some home field green technologies at work. The debut of a solar project at an NFL stadium was actually last year at the Washington Redskins’ FedEx Field, where there are 8,000 panels in the parking lot. This project can produce up to 20 percent of power needed on game days.
The New England Patriots are in the solar game as well, with a 3,000-panel construction effort going on at Patriot Place, a shopping area next to Gillette Stadium. Once this project is finished, the panels are expected to generate about 1.1 million kilowatt-hours of electricity a year. That adds up to about 60 percent of Patriot Place’s power needs.
The Philadelphia Eagles have about 11,000 solar panels and 14 micro wind turbines currently under construction at Lincoln Financial Field, according to the Philadelphia Business Journal.
It’s Not All Fun and Games in Solar
The Seattle Seahawks put in a 2.5-acre solar array at CenturyLink Field last year. Unfortunately, the Seahawks’s solar vendor Solyndra has since gone bankrupt. No worries, though — the panels had already been installed by the time Solyndra announced bankruptcy.
NRG CEO David Crane seems to be a bit reticent on releasing the dollar amount each project costs. Crane told the Great Energy Challenge Blog that the solar endeavors cost about “several million” dollars each, and was calculated over an investment period of 20 years.
Chelsea is a former newspaper reporter who has spent the past few years teaching English in Poland, Finland and Japan. When she wasn't teaching or writing, Chelsea was traveling Europe and Asia, sampling spicy street food along the way.