Image credit: Washington Redskins
From a solar-powered NASCAR track that mows its grass with sheep to the world's largest solar soccer stadium, the marriage of clean energy and sports is a perfect way to demonstrate the potential of renewables and bring them to a mainstream audience. That's why it's such good news that the Washington Redskins will install a 2MW solar array over the parking lot at FedEx field, powering 100% of the stadium's day-to-day needs, 15% of game day demand, and providing charging points for electric vehicles too. This is an ambitious project indeed. The partnership between the Redskins and NRG Energy will see a 2MW solar array installed over 850 parking spaces by September of this year, providing clean energy, protecting fans from the weather, offering 10 electric car charging stations, and improving fans' tailgating experiences. It goes without saying that this will also be a very visible, positive demonstration of the power of clean energy—the installation will also feature translucent solar panels, sculptures featuring thin film solar technology:
"There is nothing like homegrown, in this case stadium-grown, energy," said Fred Smith, chairman, president and chief executive officer of FedEx Corporation and part owner of the Washington Redskins. "Solar can be a very smart investment. I am pleased to see FedExField moving in this direction and increasing its own energy independence."
Given FedEx's own commitment to rooftop solar, a cutting edge fuel-efficient delivery fleet and serious green building, this is one more example among many that prominent investments in renewables can't be measured by energy generation alone. The Redskins, NRG and FedEx have made a bold statement of leadership for a better energy future—let's see who follows.
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