Solar Powered Sports Stadiums


Whether it’s touchdowns, goals or record-breaking sprints, energyefficiency — and solar lighting — is the name of the game in newer prosports stadiums around the world. More frequently, fans are rooting fortheir favorite squads in venues that won’t leave the environment on thelosing side.

Light Emitting Diode (LED) panels, wind turbines and solar-poweredlights are becoming the norm; they’re a way for team execs todemonstrate they care about the environment and save money on electricbills at the same time. Here are a few parks that are sure to scoreeco-points each time teams take their field.

The Blueprint for Stadio Franco Sensi in Rome, Italy has recently been released, so detailsare still trickling in. What do we know?  For one, it is being calledRome’s solar-powered stadium. The Stadio will features two layers: theouter layer will be a zinc-titanium shell covered in energy-producingphotovoltaic panels to be used for lighting. The second, a translucentlayer that will allow 80 percent of sunlight to enter without lettingrainwater hit spectators. The amount of power the panels will produce is unknown, but it will be enough to at least spark up the LED stadiumlights.

Nationals Park in Washington D.C. opened for business in 2008, and has beensolar-powering the MLB’s Washington Nationals ever since. The D.C. Citycouncil agreed to build the new stadium and set out to attain U.S. Green Building Council LEED rating. At the time it didn’t seem possible. Butwith 5,500 tons of saved construction waste, an advanced waterfiltration system and a location within fly ball distance of the city’stransportation system on what used to be a contaminated field, D.C. wasable to achieve its ambitious goal while merely increasing constructioncosts by two percent.

The park is one in a trend of eco-friendly MLB parks sprouting upacross the country. The San Francisco Giants, Colorado Rockies andCleveland Indians have all installed solar panels at their parks. TheSeattle Mariners started a composting project at Safeco Field in 2007,the Oakland A’s have used biodegradable corn-based cups at McAfeeColiseum since 2005, and the Minnesota twins are seeking an even higherLEED certification than the Nationals for their ballpark that will openin 2010.

Spin the globe to the Far East and you will Find China’s DalianShide Stadium; set to be remodeled into an architectural first forstadiums anywhere in the world. The proposed plan has the stadiumemulating a garden, with green walls (both in color and insustainability) that filter air, reduce greenhouse gases and provideinsulation. Wind turbines and solar panels built in to the stadium’swalls and roof will generate the stadium’s power on site.

Winning Proposition: Solar-Powered Sports Stadiums


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