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Solar at the Stadium

PV Magazine
By Tim Sylvia

Solarframeworks.com

Solarframeworks.com

When you think of a day at the ballpark, what do you think of? The crack of the bat? The squeaking of shoes on hardwood? Paying $7 for an ice cream that will end up on your child’s equally overpriced team shirt instead of in their mouth, all so they can collect the souvenir cup that they’re just going to lose anyway? Regardless of what you think abut now, a growing number of teams are adding another attraction to their venues and your nostalgia – solar arrays.

According to a recent report by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), 37 venues in the United States alone have solar capabilities, totaling 46 MW of capacity.

All four major sports leagues are included, as well as Major League Soccer, NASCAR and Indycar. Of the four major leagues, the NFL leads the way with 11 stadiums/facilities having solar capabilities, followed by the NBA and MLB at 9 and the NHL at 4.

“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 in a release touting the study. “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 D.C.”

Read the full story here.

 

Professional Sports Teams Going Solar

By Facility Executive

Sonoma Raceway is home to a major solar-electric-power-generating installation with a capacity of more than 350 kilowatts, along with a dual- sided, solar-powered LED display board. (Photo: Sonoma Raceway)

Sonoma Raceway is home to a major solar-electric-power-generating
installation with a capacity of more than 350 kilowatts, along with a dual-
sided, solar-powered LED display board. (Photo: Sonoma Raceway)

From the NFL to NASCAR, professional teams and facilities have installed nearly 34 MW of capacity across 16 installations over the past five years, according to SEIA.

More than 46 megawatts (MW) of solar capacity are operating at 37 professional sports facilities nationwide, according to new research from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). In the last five years, professional teams and facilities have installed nearly 34 MW of capacity across 16 solar installations, representing almost 75 percent of all the solar capacity currently in operation at sports arenas.

Every leading sports league in the United States, including the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, MLS, NASCAR and IndyCar boast solar assets. A third of the NFL stadiums in the U.S. have a solar system, with the MLB and NBA not far behind with 30 percent each. To put the proliferation of solar across professional sports in context, last year nearly 42 million Americans attended an event at a stadium, arena, or raceway with a solar system.

“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 D.C.”

“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.”

Read the full article here.

San Diego Padres and Sullivan Solar Partner on Biggest Solar Installation in MLB at Petco Park

By GreenSportsBlog

A crane lowers equipment for Sullivan Solar Power’s installation of its solar system atop Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres (Photo credit: Sullivan Solar Power)

A crane lowers equipment for Sullivan Solar Power’s installation of its solar system atop Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres (Photo credit: Sullivan Solar Power)

On-site solar at sports stadia and arenas has become a “thing” over the past decade across all sports. Starting with the Colorado Rockies and Coors Field in 2007, Major League Baseball has seen its share solar-topped roofs and solar canopied parking lots pop up. Most of the MLB installations have been on the smallish side. That changes with the late March opening of the largest solar installation in the big leagues at Petco Park, a partnership between the San Diego Padres and Sullivan Solar Power.

The San Diego Padres are poised to flip the switch this month on the largest solar installation in Major League Baseball at Petco Park. In fact, the 336,500 kW system will generate more electricity than all of the solar systems in MLB combined. It is thus fitting that the groundbreaking Petco Park solar system is being built and installed by Sullivan Solar Power, one of the most innovative and inspiring solar companies in Southern California if not the entire country.

The inspiring part of the Sullivan Solar Power story comes from the company’s namesake and founder, Daniel Sullivan.

A lifelong San Diegan, Sullivan was a 27 year-old electrician in 2004. Concerned about what he saw as a war-for-oil in Iraq, especially with the perspective that comes with being a new dad, and sensing an opportunity with a clean, domestic form of energy, Sullivan went to his boss and suggested the company get involved with solar. The boss said no at first and then, perhaps tired of his persistent employee’s repeated requests, finally relented — to a point — by saying, “if you want to build it yourself, go ahead. But we aren’t changing our focus to doing solar.”

Sullivan said something to the effect of “to heck with that” and founded his own company, Sullivan Solar Power.

Problem was, he had only $2,500 in the bank, a pickup truck and some tools.

So Sullivan started by living and working out of the garage of one of his first customers. Fast-forward a couple of years and things had improved somewhat: Sullivan Solar Power had four employees had leased office space. And Sullivan was no longer living at the garage. Instead, he was living at the office — hiding that fact from his colleagues — and showering at the gym.

But, the company’s mission — to fundamentally change the way we make electricity — along with its commitment to quality work, its educate-the-customer-about-solar ethos, its robust lineup of community service engagements, and its use of American-made panels began to resonate in Greater San Diego. So, too did Sullivan’s money back guarantee to customers. According to Tara Kelly, Sullivan Solar Power’s director of community development, “When Daniel started this company 14 years ago, there were less than 100 solar power systems on our local grid and it was much more expensive to go solar. Daniel, an electrician by trade, was so confident that his systems would pay off for customers; he offered to pay them if the panels didn’t produce as promised. The result? About 50 percent of our customers come from referrals.”

Read the full story here.

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