Solar powered stadiums
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Energy efficient stadiums is the latest trend of environmentalism in sports. Many stadiums are beginning to take measures to become more environmentally friendly and energy efficient, such as using solar energy to power the stadiums and using reusable raw materials. The first stadium successfully built to use 100 percent solar power is the Kaohsiung National Stadium in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. It earned the nickname of the 'dragon' stadium. Completed in 2009, the 55,000 capacity stadium was built for the World Games, which took place in July 2009. After the conclusion of the World Games, the stadium will be used mainly for rugby games and other athletic events. Japanese architect Toyo Ito designed the stadium which incorporates 8,844 solar panels on the roof. These solar panels provide enough energy to power the 3,300 lights and two giant television screens. The stadium provides so much power, and not all of it is needed to power the stadium. The Taiwanese government plans to sell the excess energy. The stadium will prevent 660 tons of carbon dioxide from being released. Not only is the Kaohsiung National Stadium 100 percent solar powered, but all of the raw materials used in the stadium are reusable.
The Dragon stadium is not the only sports arena to become energy efficient. The Philadelphia Eagles of the NFL announced a new plan to make their stadium, Lincoln Financial Field, more energy efficient by the 2011-2012 season. Lincoln Financial Field will have 2,500 solar panels and 80 20-foot-high wind turbines installed, as well as a generator that runs on natural gas. Lincoln Financial Field will be the first stadium in the United States capable of generating all of its own electricity. The Eagles hired the Florida-based company Solar Blue to install their solar panels and wind turbines. The team will spend $30 million to have everything installed by the start of the 2011-2012 season. The solar panels and wind turbines will generate about 25 percent of the stadium's energy needs, and the generator will provide the rest. Not only is the Eagles' stadium energy efficient, but it is also eco-friendly. The Eagles directed Aramark, the food service and cleaning contractor at the Eagles' stadium, to use nontoxic cleaning supplies and toilet paper, tissues, and towels which are made from 100 percent recycled fibers. These efforts have allowed the team to recycle over 30 percent of its waste, which has doubled since 2008. Even more, the Eagles compost over 25 tons of organic waste and over 10,000 gallons of grease and kitchen oil were converted into biodiesel last year. These efforts have made the Eagles the "greenest" team in the NFL.
Major League Baseball teams have also joined in the efforts of making their stadiums more energy efficient and eco-friendly. AT&T Park, the home of the San Francisco Giants, uses 590 solar panels to provide a total of 120 kW. This system provides enough electricity to power the stadium's scoreboard, which is equivalent to powering 40 homes.
Fenway Park is also increasing their efforts to become more energy efficient. The Boston Red Sox's stadium has solar thermal panels which generate enough heat to provide the stadium with over 37 percent of its hot water. Fenway also composts grass clippings and encourages recycling.
- "First solar powered stadium to be used at World Games | Mail Online". Dailymail.co.uk. 2009-05-14. Retrieved 2012-05-07.
- Philadelphia Eagles’ Stadium Is Becoming Energy Self-Sufficient
- Quinn, Ryan. "Giants to Put Solar Panels on AT&T Park." Sanfrancisco.giants.mlb.com/. 21 Mar. 2007. Web. 4 June 2012. <http://sanfrancisco.giants.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20070321>.
- Beard, David. "Solar Panels Unveiled at Fenway." Web log post. The Green Blog - Boston Globe. 19 May 2008. Web. 4 June 2012. <http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/green/greenblog/2008/05/solar_panels_unveiled_at_fenwa.html>.