The home turf of the Capitol soccer team, DC United, just got brighter with the announcement that Audi Field will install 884 kilowatts of solar in Washington, DC. The system will be installed on the stadium’s canopy and will provide nearly 33 percent of its energy use. The installation, along with other energy efficiency measures, is expected to save the team an estimated $125,000 annually in utility bills.
The project will cost roughly $25 million and is being financed through Washington DC’s Department of Energy and Environment's Property Assessed Clean Energy program (DC PACE) at no cost to taxpayers. In partnership with EagleBank, the DC United stadium is the largest PACE-funded project in the Capitol and the first time funding has been allocated to a professional sports facility.
“The solar energy and green features of Audi Field prove what’s smart for the environment can be good for local business, too,” said Bracken Hendricks, CEO of urban ingenuity and program administrator for DC PACE. “This project demonstrates how green measures save money, boost local economic development, and create good green jobs for District workers, all without costing DC government a cent. These voluntary measures create community benefits on day one, and are repaid through savings over time. This project is good government and good for the planet, pure and simple.”
“We know that cities throughout the US will be leading the fight against climate change, and this deal is an example of how Washington DC can think globally while acting locally. This deal will not only allow us to green Audi Field, it will also create new opportunities for local businesses and high-quality green jobs for DC residents,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser (D). During her time in office the DC PACE program has grown into a $30 million private capital investment fund since 2015 and has already facilitated seven clean energy projects at small businesses, affordable housing complexes and schools throughout Washington DC.
The stadium also will install LED field lighting, a green roof and high efficiency heating and cooling systems. The stadium will also become an infiltration basin and stormwater retention system that can store more than 55,000 cubic feet of stormwater.
Sports stadiums and arenas, like the San Fransisco 49ers’ Levi Stadium and the Washington Redskins' FedEx Field, are high-traffic environments to showcase the benefits of solar in action. But no other large sporting facility has gone further than the home of the NBA’s Sacramento Kings. The Golden 1 Center was recognized by the Green Building Council as a certified LEED Platinum building for installing a 1.2-megawatt rooftop solar array and an 11-megawatt solar farm that completely powers the arena during over 200 events annually.Tweet