Solar Energy World Brings Sustainability to Soccer
Maryland-based solar energy systems provider helps reduce Soccer Dome’s energy footprint
In recent years, sports arenas and stadiums have become champions of sustainability for both social and financial reasons. The STAPLES Center, home to the Los Angeles Lakers, has 5% of its total power provided by solar panels, while the Portland Trail Blazers’ Rose Garden Arena saved 4 million kWh of electricity, roughly $424,000 in operational savings, between 2008 and 2010 with their own green upgrades. This sustainability surge is even trickling down to recreational sports. Solar Energy World, Maryland’s fastest growing solar energy systems provider, plans to install a solar energy system in Soccer Dome’s newest recreational indoor soccer facilities, Soccer Dome II in Harmans, Maryland.
Expected for completion at the end of June, Solar Energy World will install a 13,067 square foot linked collection of 546 solar panels, known as a solar array, paired with a 126 kilowatt Photovoltaic Grid-Interactive system, on the facility. The PV Grid-Interactive system uses the light from the sun to generate electricity and feeds it into the main electricity grid. Together they will produce approximately 130,000 kWh of clean electricity annually, the equivalent of eliminating the emissions of nearly 18 cars* or the amount of electricity used by nearly a dozen homes per year.
“We’re installing the system because we’re confident it will yield double bottom-line benefits by reducing our carbon footprint and our utility bill,” said Soccer Dome President Clif Everett.
Upon completion, the solar energy installation is projected to reduce the sports facility’s energy footprint by 85 percent. Soccer Dome can even profit from the solar panels, which will produce an excess of electricity in summer months that can be sold back to BGE.
“Forward-thinking organizations, like Soccer Dome, that increase our region’s energy production by installing solar panel systems have a vital impact on their surrounding communities” said Solar Energy World Vice President Geoff Mirkin. “More businesses and organizations are looking to cut costs and resources needed to build and operate sports venues. When they find ways to do so while reducing their environmental impact, they enhance the return on investment tenfold. It’s a real win-win situation.”
Across the country, more and more business owners are learning to harness the power of the sun as a way to keep their energy costs down. Solar panel installations by businesses increased by 69 percent in the first half of 2011 when compared to the same period in 2010, according to a recent report from U.S. Solar Market Insight. These steps also prove more favorable in consumers’ eyes according to a 2011 study showing that 88 percent of Americans value good corporate citizenship, while 80 percent believe it’s important for the sports media and entertainment industries specifically to support social and environmental causes like solar energy.
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