Major Solar Array For Utah World-Class Soccer Stadium

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World-class Rio Tinto Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah, is partnering with Auric Solar to install the largest privately owned solar array in Major League Soccer. Home to the USL Real Monarchs, as well as Major League Soccer’s Real Salt Lake, the Rio Tinto Stadium transition to solar power is scheduled for completion in six months and expected to be operational in October 2015.

Dell Loy Hansen, the owner of RSL and Monarchs, announced recently, “We are partnering with Auric Solar to increase our power efficiency while hosting more than 50 massive events each year in Sandy.”

rio tinto stadium gets huge solar array

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2 MW Solar Array Made of 6,414 Solar Panels

The new 2,020 kW solar array made up of 6,414 solar panels is to be installed on the existing Rio Tinto Stadium structure, as well as on new covered parking areas. Nearly 95% of the solar array will be installed on the new solar-covered parking structures, including an entirely new parking lot on the north side of the stadium.

RSL and Monarchs Owner Dell Loy Hansen said, “The new solar covered parking structures will improve the quality of parking options for our 15,000+ season ticket holders and provide our state and the surrounding environment with the largest solar energy offset for any US professional sports venue.”

Offsetting 73% of Total Annual Stadium Power

Offsetting 73% of total annual stadium power, the Rio Tinto solar array in Salt Lake City, Utah, will provide the largest energy offset in North American professional sports. The equivalent impact to the environment as a result of the new solar array installation is estimated to be like planting 47,278 trees a year, or removing 450 automobiles from the street.

“It is impressive and ambitious to see the organization’s commitment to the community and environment,” said Jess Phillips, principal of Auric Solar. “Auric Solar is helping the club harness the power of the sun to reduce its power consumption on a grand scale.”

Auric Solar–RSL Brand-Building Partnership

Andy Carroll, Vice President of Corporate Partnerships for RSL, said, “Auric Solar’s expertise make them the perfect partners to make Rio Tinto Stadium energy self-sufficient, while also improving the fan experience with the addition of covered and lit parking.” Carroll added, “Our unique ability to assist Auric Solar in building brand awareness, both locally and across the industry, makes this partnership fully integrated, mutually beneficial, and uniquely symbiotic.”

“The entire Auric team,” continued Andy Carroll, “led by founders Trent Vansice and Jess Phillips, consists of great people, providing all of the ingredients for an exceptional long-term partnership.”

Auric Solar Principal Jess Phillips added, “This project will put Real Salt Lake at the forefront of energy production in all of professional sports.”

real salt lake emblem screenshot

Rio Tinto Stadium Solar Array Facts

The record-breaking solar array installation to be built by Auric Solar at Rio Tinto Stadium includes the following facts:

■ 6,414 solar panels at 315 watts each (2.02 MW)

■ 94% of the system installed on new solar-covered parking structures (South, South West and North of venue)

■ System will offset 73% of the stadium’s power needs, the largest solar offset for any professional sports stadium in North America

■ Rio Tinto Stadium will now own the largest solar array in Major League Soccer–double the size of Gillette Stadium’s 1,000-kW array in Foxborough, Mass.

■ Rio Tinto Stadium will boast the 4th-largest solar array of any professional sports stadium in North America

Top 5 Solar Arrays in US Pro Sports Stadiums

The five largest solar arrays in North American professional sports stadiums are:

■ No. 1: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, in Speedway, Indiana, with 9,000 kW

■ No. 2: Lincoln Financial Field, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with 3,000 kW

■ No. 3: Pocono Raceway, in Blakeslee, Pennsylvania, with 3,000 kW

■ No. 4: Rio Tinto Stadium, in Salt Lake City, Utah, with 2,020 kW

■ No. 5: FedEx Field, in Landover, Maryland, with 2,000 kW

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Aisha Abdelhamid

is a freelance lifestyle and environmental science writer currently living in Vancouver, BC. Her interests include environmental conservation, climate science, renewable energy, faith-based environmental activism, green building, creative lifestyles, and healthy living.

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