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Verizon Center Will Operate Using 25% Solar Energy Under New Partnership

The Washington Post
By Scott Allen

(Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post)

(Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post)

Verizon Center is getting greener in 2017. Monumental Sports & Entertainment on Thursday announced a new partnership with Virginia-based WGL Energy Services that will enable the downtown home of the Capitals, Wizards, Mystics and Valor to operate using 25 percent solar energy.

“Sustainability is at the core of our operations across all of Monumental Sports & Entertainment,” Dave Touhey, the president of venues for Monumental Sports & Entertainment, said in a release. “We are excited to expand our energy relationship with WGL Energy by entering into this new partnership to bring more renewable energy to Verizon Center.”

Monumental Sports & Entertainment will purchase solar electricity from a third-party-owned solar facility in Frederick County, Md., and receive about 4.7 million kWh per year of energy beginning in late 2017 as part of a long-term contract. WGL Energy reports that the carbon emissions avoided as a result of the new arrangement are equivalent to taking nearly 700 cars off the road for one year.

WGL has been the official energy partner of Verizon Center since 2015 and has already taken steps to make the arena greener. Later this month, Monumental Sports & Entertainment will be honored as one of the Green Sports Alliance’sInnovators of the Year for counterbalancing “more than 3,123 tons of greenhouse gas emissions from 201 events” at Verizon Center in 2016 with carbon offsets. Other winners of the award announced Thursday include the Montreal Canadiens and Sacramento’s Golden 1 Center, which opened in September as the only 100 percent solar-powered, LEED Platinum-certified indoor arena in the world.

Verizon Center’s tenants are among the first pro sports teams powered by offsite renewable energy.

“Offsite renewable energy is one of the fastest-growing sectors within the energy industry,” WGL VP and chief revenue officer Louis J. Hutchinson III said in a statement. “As renewable energy offerings continue to mature, it’s exciting to see the sports industry play a major role in sourcing offsite renewable energy.”

Read the full story here.

Gala Rugby Club Tackle Energy Costs by Installing PV Technology

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In a Scottish region full of rugby enthusiasts, Gala Rugby Club lies at the heart of the local community in the Galashiels area. The Netherdale stadium, located close to the River Tweed, has been the home of the Club since 1912. Having recently started to seek ways to renovate the facilities and cut operational costs, the club engaged with Resource Efficient Scotland to look at ways to reduce its water and energy bills.

The Club benefitted from initial support from Resource Efficient Scotland in the form of an on-site assessment that focused on measures to reduce the costs for heating, lighting and water.  In total potential savings worth over £21,000 were identified through reducing energy and water consumption.

While installing a new heating system was recommended, this was put on hold as it was reported that Scottish Water might be planning to install an anaerobic digestion plant close to Gala Rugby Club. It was thought the new plant might include a district heating system, which was likely to be a cheaper and more sustainable heating option for the Club than other heating options.

During the initial assessment, using photovoltaic (PV) technology was considered, but the site/facilities were not used significantly over the summer period, so it was decided that this was unlikely to be an economically attractive option. However, in the summer of 2015, the Scottish Rugby Union asked to use the facilities at Gala Rugby Club for various sporting activities including significant use over the summer. This made the case for PV technology more attractive. Therefore, the Club applied for and received a Resource Efficient Scotland SME loan to help it purchase and install PV panels.

It is expected that the PV installation will provide the Club with around 70% of its electricity consumption. This will reduce its annual energy costs by nearly £6,000 and carbon dioxide emissions by around 11 tonnes.

Read the full story here.

Bertrand Piccard Expresses Support for Formula E

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Initiator and Pilot of Solar Impulse, Bertrand Piccard, publically announced his support for Formula E at the Supercharged show this week.

He welcomed the all-electric car race series and cited them as a leader in raising awareness about electric cars and in showing that they can be as practical and quick as fuel-powered cars.

Supercharged Presenter, Nicki Shields, said: “Formula E is for car racing, what Solar Impulse is for aviation… It’s a new laboratory showing how clean technology can be sexy. It’s not anymore about something that is boring and expensive; it’s something that really attracts the awareness of people. It’s spectacular.”

The Solar Impulse 2, piloted by Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg, completed the first solar-powered circumnavigation of the world last summer.

The solar plane was equipped with 17,000 solar cells and four batteries which were powering four engines.

Bertrand Piccard said: “It feels like science fiction… You look at the sun and you look at your four electric motors turning the propellers and you have no noise, no pollution, no fuel and you know you can fly forever … it’s the wonders and miracles that clean technologies can achieve.”

Read the full story here.

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