You might think that car racing, with it’s gas-guzzling, fume spewing super cars buzzing around tracks for hundreds of miles at hundreds of miles an hour wouldn’t be a beacon of environmentalism, but it kind of is. After all as early as 2011 NASCAR cars started using an ethanol biofuel, Sunoco Green E15, as the race fuel, and now one of its most iconic tracks, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, has just completed the largest photovoltaic array at any sports venue in the world, a 9 megawatt PV array.
Other sports venues from the soccer arenas at the World Cup to the home of the NFL’s New York Jets and the New York Giants or the Eagles or MLB’s Colorado Rockies, all have installed solar at their stadiums. But most were much smaller, The Eagles solar array, for instance is 3 megawatts and that might have been the largest at a sports stadium prior to the commissioning of this new array.
The new array, located on the backstretch of the track, was unveiled at a ribbon cutting ceremony yesterday (July 1). “The unused land at the IMS property just east of the race track has been transformed into a solar energy production facility that will provide an alternative source of energy to IPL customers,” said J. Douglas Boles, Indianapolis Motor Speedway president. The project was built on 68 acres of the 1,000 acre site.
The project was built for Centaurus Renewable Energy by by SunWize Technologies and Blue Renewable Energy. Blue Renewable Energy has the lease with the speedway and the power produced by the solar farm is being provided to Indianapolis Power & Light Co. and will own the Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) produced by the solar power system.
“In 1909, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was constructed in part to help advance the automotive industry, which at that time was the new technology of the day,” Boles said. “Today, IMS is honored to be part of a partnership with IPL, SunWize and Blue Renewable Energy where innovation and technology are coming together to bring diversification of generation resources to this community.”
“The new IMS solar farm will be a constant reminder to those who visit the largest spectator sporting facility in the world of the creative solutions taking place here in Indianapolis to increase sustainability,” said Ken Zagzebski, President of AES’ U.S. Strategic Business Unit, parent company of Indianapolis Power & Light.
“For over 100 years, the iconic IMS has broken its share of records. Now SunWize is honored to be part of the development and execution of this record-breaking solar project, the largest solar power system in the sporting world,” said Scott Tonn, principal and managing director of Tonn Investments, an investor of SunWize Technologies.Tweet