Image credit: Gehrlicher Solar
From a 2MW solar array at FedEx Field to the world's largest solar stadium, the idea of incorporating clean energy—and solar power in particular—into major sporting arenas is nothing new. But now it's being taken to a whole new continent, as South America looks set to get its first solar soccer stadium by the end of this year. And just like the previously mentioned examples, this is about much more than just how much power it will generate. Gehrlicher Solar reports that it will be installing 403 kWp of thin-film solar modules on the roof of Pituaçu Stadium in Salvador da Bahia, the third largest city in Brazil. But this stadium is just the first of many that will be going a deeper shade of green as Brazil prepares to host the 2014 World Cup:
Guillermo Barea Herranz, Chairman of the board of directors of Gehrlicher Ecoluz Solar do Brasil: "We are very pleased to have convinced Coelba with our concept." Ricardo da Silva David, Director of Gehrlicher Ecoluz Solar do Brasil, adds: "This contract is very important to us, in particular against the backdrop of plans for outfitting all twelve 2014 Soccer World Cup venues with solar power systems."
Of course we are talking here about very real, significant contributions to clean energy generation. But we are also talking about something much more important. Sporting arenas are symbols of collective pride, community, and ambition. As the sporting world finds itself increasingly drawn to clean energy and solar power, it is in a unique position to further leverage broader, more important social change.
So when the solar panels at Pituaçu Stadium are switched on, it won't just be the soccer fans that are cheering.