The Washington Redskins unveiled a solar power installation for its FedEx Field, which is said to be the largest solar power system utilized by a NFL stadium. The switch was turned on during the halftime of last Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals.
The Redskins said that the solar power system would save them up to 20 percent of the stadium’s game-day electricity and 100 percent on other days. The team’s owner Daniel Snyder said that it is the right thing to do for the environment.
The Redskins is the latest NFL team that joined the solar bandwagon. Other teams that previously installed solar power systems in their stadiums are New England Patriots, New York Jets, Seattle Seahawks, Philadelphia Eagles, and New York Giants.
NFL’s senior vice president of government relations and public policy Jeffrey A. Miller said that the league offices will be moved to green-certified facilities in the near future. Upcoming events, such as the Pro Bowl and the Super Bowl XLVI in February, have been green-certified.
Snyder didn’t disclose the total cost of the project but said that it was built as part of a 10 year partnership with NRG Energy, which is based in Princeton, New Jersey. The solar project has 7,500 solar panels on top of the 841 covered parking spaces next to the stadium, 525 roof panels, 188 translucent panels and a thin-film structure incorporated into a 30 foot silhouette of a quarterback named Solar Man. It looks like the passing pose of Redskins legend Sammy Baugh.
The solar power system can generate up to two megawatts of power, which is enough to light up around 300 houses. It has 10 stations within the premises of the stadium to charge electric vehicles. The Redskins owner hopes that the stadium would be 100 percent be powered by solar in the future. He would like to install more panels around the facility as well as install solar power systems in the team’s other facilities such as the Redskins Park training complex in Ashburn, Virginia.
Negotiations for the Redskins FedEx Field solar project began last March and construction in June. NRG CEO David Crane also met with half of the league teams to discuss about the solar-power systems that could be tailor-made for each team’s requirements.
At present, solar power is still expensive to install than other forms of power but its long-term benefits are huge. The cost of generating electricity is free. According to NRG, the solar installation in the FedEx parking lot is competitive with the retail price of electricity in most parts of the country.