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NHL, Green Sports Alliance Making Impact

by Jon Lane @JonLaneNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

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On a personal level, Green Sports Alliance Executive Director Justin J. Zeulner has a 12-year-old daughter who as a figure skater spends hours in community facilities. With thousands of people interacting on a sheet of ice on a monthly basis, Zeulner sees first-hand the importance of what the NHL has helped accomplish since becoming a member of the Alliance in June 2011.

The Alliance promotes healthy, sustainable communities and inspires sports leagues, teams, venues, their partners and millions of fans to embrace energy and water efficiency. To have the NHL and its teams involved has taken the cause to new levels.

“The opportunity for the NHL to support the further development of new buildings and renovations of existing buildings, to make sure these community centers are sustainable economically and financially is extremely important,” Zeulner said. “The future generation of athletes, whether they’re figure skaters or hockey players, requires some bold leadership. And the NHL is paving the way.”

The League has accomplished plenty with NHL Green, its sustainability initiative committed to improving hockey’s environmental impact, and the launch of Greener Week in 2016, which focuses on working with community rinks in North America to measure and evaluate the environmental impact of the greater hockey community.

NHL arenas are using alternative, more environmentally-friendly energy sources. The 2016 and 2017 NHL All-Star Games each were played under LED game light technology that reduced glare, improved game presentation and visibility for players, and reduced energy usage. The NHL also is the first professional sports league in North America to issue a sustainability report, documenting and disclosing its carbon footprint.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman was honored with the Alliance’s highest recognition, the Environmental Leadership Award, for the work the League and NHL Green has done with teams and arenas. As a result, Zeulner said, all private sector businesses put together sustainability reports in their filings every year.

“What that inspires is incredible,” Zeulner said. “All sports, whether it’s the private sector side or it’s the sports teams themselves and the leagues and the venues they play in, everybody should be measuring and reporting on their impacts. Once you do that, you start to set the bar and of course you want to get better every year. That’s really what we’re all about, is playing greener. That was the first major milestone from a league perspective to issue that report. We supported and aided in putting that together.”

Zeulner’s vision is to further engage fans, get them involved and keep the movement going. The League has done its part; the NHL is the 26th largest user of green power in the U.S., according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership, and the only sports league to appear on the Top 100 list.

“Imagine if all sports participated in the support and the advancement of renewal power in North America? The NHL has already proven that’s possible,” Zeulner said. “What can be inspired by being one of the largest users of green power in the U.S. is astonishing. So we’re looking to see if all sport can join the NHL and their leadership in this space to advance that here in the United States.”

Read the full story here.

Boss Controls is Creating Energy Efficiencies for Saint Paul Rivercentre & Xcel Energy Center with its Smart Plug Solution

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BOSS Controls LLC, a leading Internet of Things (IoT) energy management and controls company, and channel partner Veterans’ Unisource, based in Minnesota, recently deployed the BOSS Controls Smart Plug Solution at Saint Paul RiverCentre and Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota.

BOSS Controls helps commercial property owners increase energy efficiency and reduce costs by giving them technology solutions to remotely and automatically turn off machines when not in use. The BOSS 120 Smart Plug will provide total control and energy management of plug-in electrical loads. Both Saint Paul RiverCentre and Xcel Energy Center will be starting with transitioning televisions, monitors and vending machines.

As leaders in sustainability, Saint Paul RiverCentre and Xcel Energy Center have a long-standing commitment to green initiatives and have been recognized for best practices in venue sustainability. The Green Venue Report recognizes Saint Paul RiverCentre in the top quarter of respondents worldwide across many key sustainability indicators. Xcel Energy Center, home of the Minnesota Wild, is the only NHL arena in the U.S. to be LEED Certified. (Source: http://www.xcelenergycenter.com/sustainability)

“We have long been a champion of environmental causes and will continue to seek and implement solutions that reduce energy waste,” said Jim Ibister, vice president of Facility Administration for the Minnesota Wild and general manager of Saint Paul RiverCentre. “The BOSS Smart Plug deployment emphasizes our commitment to reducing our carbon footprint and defines what it means to be environmentally friendly.”

Read the full story here.

TD Garden Taps Community Solar for Clean Energy, Lower Costs

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Clean Energy Collective (CEC), the nation’s leading community solar solutions provider, has announced a deal with Delaware North, owner and operator of TD Garden, to reduce the electricity costs of New England’s largest sports and entertainment arena through community solar. TD Garden is serving as an anchor tenant in CEC’s 1.3 MW community shared solar PV facility located Holliston, Mass. Participating in the community solar array is expected to save Delaware North approximately $375,000 in utility costs over the term of the agreement. The deal also includes a marketing arrangement that will promote community solar to event fans and attendees.

“Delaware North, owner and operator of TD Garden, is committed to finding new ways to bring an environmentally responsible approach to all our arena operations,” said Amy Latimer, President of TD Garden. “As one of the first in the industry to adopt a company-wide environmental management system, GreenPath, we are grateful to CEC for bringing this project close to home and allowing us another opportunity to help reduce our environmental footprint.”

The agreement proved ideal for TD Garden since putting a solar system on the roof was not practical or cost-effective. Through CEC’s RooflessSolar™ program, TD Garden instead subscribed to a portion of the energy produced at the Holliston Community Solar Array, connected directly to the Eversource electric grid 40 miles to the west, and receives the associated monetary credits directly on its utility bills.

“Clean Energy Collective is proud to provide Delaware North with a solution that delivers immediate economic benefit and supports their environmental initiatives, both as a company and in the operation of such an iconic venue,” said Clean Energy Collective president, Tom Sweeney. “Participation from high-quality companies like Delaware North is contributing to the successful deployment and accelerated growth of community solar.”

Read the full press release here.