At MetLife Stadium, the largest stadium in the NFL League, there are currently more than 1,000 solar panels circling above the stands. Home to both the Giants and the Jets, this stadium attracts thousands of people with different interests. To suit the needs of a varying fan base, the solar panels are designed to change color based on who’s playing.
They do much more than attract attention. The solar panels also supply more than 10 percent of the stadium’s needs on a game day and more than 25 times what is needed to just light the stadium. Playing competitively off the field, many teams have contracts and plans to instigate using renewable energy sources on game day.
Home to the Washington Redskins, FedEx Field began an 8,000 solar panel project last year. The panels are currently being constructed in the stadium’s parking lot and will supply about 20 percent of the total power used on game days.
Hoping to benefit from renewable energy sources year-round, the New England Patriots are setting their solar panels up in Patriot Place, the shopping center next to Gillette Stadium. This 3,000 panel construction effort will supply 60 percent of the mall’s yearly power needs.
The Philadelphia Eagles up the game by planning to install both solar panels and wind turbines around Lincoln Financial Field. Around 11,000 solar panels are being constructed in the parking lot, on 11th street and the south façade of the field. The wind turbines will crown the top of the stadium. Expected to be completed by the end of this year, the project will provide more than six times the power currently used during home games.
Behind most of these sports themed renewable energy plans is NRG Energy. By tapping into the NFL fan base, the company hopes the projects will bring national attention to renewable energy efforts. Each NFL project costs several million dollars and the terms of the contracts are strictly confidential. However, in the case of the Eagles, the agreement made NRG Energy their official grid supplier and sponsor.
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