Clean energy for stadiums: a winning combination
Getting to Zero Forum, February 2, 2015
On game day, thousands of sports fans flock to stadiums to see their favorite team battle it out, without paying mind to the immense resources needed to power the arena. What many visitors do not realize between eating, drinking, and cheering is the amount of power, water, and materials that are consumed to build, operate, and maintain these large facilities. Once large energy suckers, stadium and arena enterprises are beginning to see the viability of sustainability by reducing their carbon footprint and producing renewable energy.
With on-site renewable energy, stadiums and arenas become power producers rather than heavy energy consumers. In 2012, Lincoln Financial Field, the home of the Philadelphia Eagles, installed 14 wind turbines above their end zones in addition to solar PV panels to help generate all of its electricity onsite and become net zero. The 3.1MW of on-site renewable energy capacity saves the stadium a staggering US$3m annually. Lincoln Financial Field isn’t the only one touching down in renewable energy. In fact, of the 126 American professional sports teams, 38 use renewable energy to supply some of their needs. This movement continues to build momentum, as the new San Francisco 49ers Levi Stadium is the first professional football stadium to achieve LEED Gold. A 375kW solar installation will be unveiled, providing enough power annually to offset power consumed during home games.