In professional sports, it’s clear one thing is a winner, solar power. New research out today (June 27) shows that 37 professional sports facilities across the US host a total of more than 46 megawatts (MW) of solar power.
That’s according to new research from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), which found that over the last five years the installations have been getting bigger and more frequent. Almost 34 MWs were installed across 16 sports facilities during that time period. What’s more is that solar power is being used by a wide variety of sports, from NASCAR to hockey.
"The adoption and investment in solar energy systems by the sports and entertainment industry has been a critical element in the sports greening movement,” said Justin Zeulner, Executive Director of the Green Sports Alliance. “Leagues, teams, venues, collegiate campuses, athletes, arenas and stadiums are all vital in reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and these clean-energy investments support building healthier, more sustainable communities where we live and play. We look forward to collaborating further with SEIA to advance further projects, as well as fan, athlete and community engagement platforms."
While you might think that car races might be the dirtiest of professional sports, they’re actually using greener fuels than before and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway actually hosts the largest solar installation at a sports arena, a 9.6 MW solar array. Meanwhile SEIA found that a third of NFL stadiums in country have solar power and 30 percent of both basketball and baseball stadiums have solar.
The newest NFL stadium, for instance, the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta has a 1.3 MW solar installation. That’s enough energy to power 10 of the Atlanta Falcons’ home games each year.
“This data is further proof that solar energy is a meaningful contributor to America’s energy portfolio,” said SEIA president and CEO Abigail Ross Hopper. “Ballparks and stadiums nationwide are investing in solar to save money on costly electricity bills and demonstrating that clean energy is a smart business choice for the future. Solar is becoming so commonplace on sports stadiums and arenas that all of the 2018 champions thus far have been teams with solar facilities—the Philadelphia Eagles, Golden State Warriors and the Washington Capitals right here in DC.”
Having solar power at these facilities is great for the visibility of solar, too. SEIA noted that nearly 42 million Americans attended an event at a sports venue solar last year. That’s not even counting the fans who saw the solar installations from home on the television.Tweet