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Padres Installing Baseball’s Biggest Solar Project

The San Diego Union Tribune

The $1 million solar project is expected to be finished by the Padres' home opener March 29. Photo Credit: San Diego Union Tribune.

The $1 million solar project is expected to be finished by the Padres’ home opener March 29. Photo Credit: Sullivan Solar Power.

Petco Park is about to become home to the largest solar power system in Major League Baseball.

  • Workers have begun to install a 336,520-watt project, with 716 solar modules that can produce more than 12 million kilowatt-hours of electricity in the next 25 years.
  • The project will be large — bigger than the solar systems installed by seven other teams combined.
  • The system will be installed on the stadium’s roof and is expected to be ready by the Padres’ season opener March 29.

The Padres go big on solar: Here’s the full story

There are no guarantees how the rebuilding Padres will do this coming season but on the energy front, the team is about to become baseball’s undisputed leader in the solar standings.

Construction of the largest solar power system in Major League Baseball has begun at Petco Park — a 336,520-watt project comprised of 716 high-efficiency, 470-watt solar modules expected to produce more than 12 million kilowatt-hours over the next 25 years.

Seven other teams in the majors have installed solar facilities in recent years but at a Wednesday news conference announcing the plans, officials said the Padres’ solar array will be larger than all the other teams’ facilities combined.

“This project really checked all the boxes for us,” said Erik Greupner, Padres chief operating officer. “It’s something that will generate energy savings for us over time and it’s consistent with the priorities to our fan base and to the city of San Diego.”

Workers from San Diego-based Sullivan Solar Power began installing the modules earlier this week and the Padres anticipate the project will be wrapped up in time for the team’s season opener March 29 against Milwaukee.

Green and LEED-Certified Stadium Design

Architectural Record

2017.12.20-NewsFeed-Green and LEED-IMAGE

Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Image Courtesy of AMB Group

Though it remains to be seen whether the Atlanta Falcons will meet expectations for the season, the National Football League team’s athletic facility has already earned the highest marks when it comes to being green. In mid-November 2017, the 2 million-square-foot Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta became the world’s first LEED Platinum–certified professional sports stadium.

Designed by HOK and home to the Falcons and the Atlanta United Major League Soccer (MLS) club, the stadium hosts 4,000 photo-voltaic (PV) panels, which should generate 1.6 million kilowatt hours per year—enough to power nine football games—and has enough electric vehicle connections to charge 48 cars at once. Among its many other green features, a 680,000-square-foot cistern can store 2 million gallons of rainwater, for both water-conservation and flood-control purposes. (The project sits at the top of the Proctor Creek watershed, just north of flood-prone downtown Atlanta.)

Video courtesy EarthCam

Worldwide, there are more than 30 LEED-certified sports venues, according to the U.S. Green Buildings Council (USGBC), but with 88 LEED points of a possible 110—the most of any athletic facility to date, and notably earning all possible credits for water—the Mercedes-Benz Stadium is the most impressive, and most recent, example of a growing trend. “Seven or eight years ago, we’d have to bring up the topic of sustainability with clients,” says architect Chris DeVolder, the sustainable design leader for HOK’s sports, recreation, and entertainment practice, who worked on the Atlanta stadium for almost four years. “Now we’re talking about it on every project.”

The Georgia venue completes a triumvirate of Platinum projects at different scales: in September 2016, the Sacramento King’s Golden 1 Center by AECOM became the first professional arena to earn Platinum, and five years before, in October 2011, the USGBC named Apogee Stadium by HKS, at the University of North Texas, the first Platinum collegiate football stadium in the nation.

Read the full story.

CU Boulder Hosts K-12 Students to Connect Climate and Sports

CU Boulder Today

On Dec. 13, the CU Environmental Center hosted a Climate & Sports Student Summit on the CU Boulder campus. Climate & Sports Student Summits (CSSS) is a national nonprofit whose mission is to “create spaces where youth can be inspired by professional athletes, the sports culture and each other to become sustainable change agents in their communities.”

Climate & Sports Student Summit at CU BoulderClimate & Sports Student Summit at CU BoulderClimate & Sports Student Summit at CU BoulderClimate & Sports Student Summit at CU BoulderClimate & Sports Student Summit at CU BoulderClimate & Sports Student Summit at CU Boulder

Over 80 local elementary, middle and high school students from Boulder Valley School District and St. Vrain School District experienced an action-packed day of education and inspiration at the CU Recreation Center, a LEED Platinum-certified building and one of CU’s greenest facilities.

Boulder-based professional climber, adventure athlete and National Geographic explorer Matt Segal shared stories of his climate and science adventures with students. Youth climate organizers such as Ruby Rorty, a high school student and founder of the Santa Cruz Environmental Alliance, shared their paths to climate action with their peers.

“It’s so magical to see the energy and excitement the students take from seeing the amazing things that young people like themselves have been able to accomplish. The athletes get so much out of seeing the students’ enthusiasm, and the students are so inspired to see that their role models care so much about climate change,” said Linda Gancitano, summit organizer and former USA women’s soccer team member.

As part of the Green Sports Alliance Summit last summer, CSSS created similar summits for K-12 students in Miami, Florida, with the Miami Heat and in Sacramento, California, with the Sacramento Kings.

Read the full story.

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