As the stars walk down the red carpet for the 63rd Emmys at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles this Sunday, they’ll have to share the spotlight with a quickly rising star of the energy world, solar. Parts of the red carpet will be covered by a canopy of SolarWorld modules, which is part of Emmy producer Fox’s drive for sustainability at the event. Maybe the array will generate some additional power from all those stars passing under it.
“The solar is visible and installed where the stars get our of their cars and where the press and paparazzi are installed. It’s throughout that whole section,” said SolarWorld spokesperson Devon Cichoski, speaking onsite.
The prominent display of the solar array will probably give solar the most air and media time that photovoltaics have ever had. “Reliably drawing 12 to 13 million viewers, the awards show acts as a celebration of popular culture. In that light, this year’s show will present solar power as an energy option available to regular homeowners around the country and even the world,” according to a SolarWorld press release.
“The Emmys spotlight the tastes, trends and technologies which viewers nationwide are tuning into in their lives,” Kevin Kilkelly, president of SolarWorld Americas, said in the release. “This year’s show will mark the historical moment when solar power made its debut in American popular culture.” “It’s going in now and will be in place for around five days,” Cichoski said. The photovoltaic canopy is a temporary structure over the red carpet. “There are these pretty substantial metal scaffolding areas that surround the [red carpet],” she said.
During the period when it’s operating at the Nokia Theatre, the 50 kilowatt array will produce power for the theatre as well as to the grid. Cichoski could not say whether it would offset all the power used during the Emmys. “The calculations that the engineer gave us is it would produce the amount energy used by a family of four for about two months,” she said.
After the Emmys are over, the array will be taken down and donated to Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles, according to Cichoski. The solar panels will serve between 10 to 20 households after that.
The solar is being added in as part of Fox’s “Green it. Mean it.” campaign, which strives to make the event more sustainable. The carpet for the event itself is manufactured from recycled materials. And the event will feature energy-efficient lighting, and locally sourced and organically grown food, according to the release.
“It’s definitely the first time the Emmys have gone this green,” Cichoski said.