In partnership with National Grid, Bonneville Environmental Foundation, and the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Red Sox became the first team in Major League Baseball to have a solar thermal system at their ballpark, the iconic Fenway Park, when the 28 solar panels were installed in May 2008. This site faces almost directly south, with only a few hours of the winter solstice when the site is shadowed and the solar exposure is highly desirable. This location is also a close proximity to the water heaters in the mechanical room on the roof, and energy captured by the panels can be easily delivered to this equipment. The energy generated by the panels replaces more than a third of the gas traditionally used for the process of heating water at the park, saving both energy and expense. According to Bonneville Environmental Foundation, the solar thermal panels allows the Red Sox to avoid 18 tons of CO2 emissions each year, the environmental equivalent of planting 4.86 acres of trees, not driving a car for 43,611 miles, or the amount of CO2 produced through natural gas use from approximately 4 average U.S. homes annually. “The Red Sox have a duty and responsibility to help protect and preserve the environment and to help keep the Fenway neighborhood clean and green,” said Red Sox President/CEO Larry Lucchino. “The installation of solar thermal panels is the next step in our commitment to make America’s Most Beloved Ballpark one of America’s greenest ballparks.”