Even though the 2013 National Football League season is about six months away, one team is driving the ball down the field in helping to boost the changing image of spectator sports as a champion in environmental sustainability.
Sunpower is helping recent Super Bowl Finalists, the San Francisco 49ers, by providing a solar panel system for their new stadium.
The new system at 400 kW is being installed by NRG Energy at the $1.2 billion stadium located in Santa Clara, California. Once completed, the project will offset all energy consumption at all San Francisco 49er home games once the stadium opens in 2014.
Installation of three solar array bridges will be done at the training centre, plus a solar canopy built over the green roof terrace.
“NRG is much more than a founding partner, they are providing the energy leadership, infrastructure and expertise to help us achieve the vision of making the new Santa Clara Stadium an economically and environmentally sustainable showcase for innovation,” said Chief Executive Officer of the San Francisco 49ers, Jed York.
The 49ers recent announcement is part of a green trend spreading through the NFL and other spectator sports. Met Life Stadium, home of the New York Giants and the New York Jets have 1,350 solar panels, producing 350,000 kilowatt-hours, or around 10% of the stadium’s energy needs on game day. Washington Redskins at FedEx Field have 8,000 solar panels, producing one-fifth of their required energy needs.
Minnesota Vikings and Juhl Wind have an arrangement where the local wind provider will give Renewable Energy Certificates (REC’s) to the Vikings to offset their energy use at games.
Meanwhile, Major League Baseball has at least four LEED certified stadiums (San Francisco Giants, Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins, and Washington Nationals), along with the Cleveland Indians and Kansas City Royals adding both wind and solar power to their energy mix last season.
The trend towards environmental sustainability is a good one, as changes in climate will likely create more extreme weather patterns, thus creating havoc for planners given sporting events occur outdoors.
While spectator sporting events will never be 100% sustainable, having leagues like the NFL, MLB on the side of green is important if environmental issues are going to continue to move forward in the conscious of the public.
Main Source: PV Tech