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Member Highlight: NextEra’s Clean Energy Solutions for Sports and Entertainment Venues

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NextEra Energy Resources (NextEra), together with its affiliated entities, is a clean-energy leader and the world’s largest operator of renewable energy from the wind and sun, as well as one of the largest wholesale generators of electric power in the U.S.  In December, NextEra partnered with Green Sports Alliance to educate Alliance member organizations in California on implementing renewable energy solutions.

Stadiums and entertainment venues have significant exposure to energy costs because of both the amount and time of day that energy is used.  The timing of the energy consumed at venues often increases the expense through high demand charges from the utility, and can even reduce the cost-effectiveness of energy-saving installations like LEDs.  NextEra works with customers nationwide to identify the optimal solution to address those costs and meet sustainability goals using a variety of technologies, financing structures, local programs, and incentives.

Why should your team care about renewable energy?

  • Lower Your Energy Costs – Smarter energy strategies can help stadiums stabilize and reduce expenses. There are even opportunities to create revenue if stadiums partner with the local utility to enhance grid stability.
  • Enhance Your Brand – Sustainability is simply a matter of doing the right thing, and fans and sponsors alike want to be associated with that.  Plus, you can demonstrate your commitment to the community by bringing jobs and clean energy.
  • Build in Resiliency – At the Super Bowl in 2013, a power surge at the Superdome created a blackout, after equipment sensed an abnormality in the system from a Beyoncé halftime show with extravagant lighting and video effects. Having a backup system such as energy storage can significantly reduce the negative impacts of system issues and give your stadium a reliability edge.

NextEra considers a venue’s individual load profile, sustainability goals, and energy costs to identify and deliver a tailored solution from start to finish.  The breadth of NextEra’s expertise allows it to customize solutions to fit a customer’s unique needs, from on-site solar and energy storage, to EV charging stations, renewable energy credits and community solar gardens.  For example, NextEra’s community solar gardens allow subscribers, including a professional sports team in Minnesota, to purchase a fixed amount of solar power without having to install a system on their own property.

Read more about NextEra’s solar gardens.

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.

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.

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