Solar-charged driving has officially arrived in the National Football League (NFL). The Washington Redskins unveiled an 8,000 panel solar canopy that covers 841 parking spaces and which includes 10 EV charging stations at FedExField yesterday.
According to the Redskins, the solar installation is the largest at an NFL stadium and will produce enough electricity under sunny conditions to cover 20% of game day use and up to 100% of its use at other times.
The installation by NRG, one of the largest solar power developers in the United States, includes three different types of solar panels at the stadium generating nearly two megawatts (MW) of electricity.
Solar energy education
“We are delighted to partner with NRG to showcase this remarkable technology at FedExField and to educate fans and the public about solar energy and other solutions that can help our country’s energy needs,” said Daniel Snyder, owner of the Redskins.
The NRG solar entry plaza at Gate A will generate power through a variety of green energy technologies, including translucent solar panels and a specially designed sculpture created using thin film solar technology. A sculpture – a 30-foot tall silhouette of a football player dubbed “solar man” – showcases the flexibility of this innovative solar technology and also is a one-of-a-kind work of art welcoming fans to FedExField.
“NRG is proud to provide the power that backs the powerful Redskins team and their fans," said David Crane, CEO of NRG, based in Princeton, N.J.
The anticipated power generated from the installation during game days is roughly the equivalent amount of energy used annually by 300 Maryland households.
By using solar power, the Redskins and NRG expect to keep 1,780 metric tons of carbon out of the atmosphere each year– the equivalent of replacing 349 vehicles with gasoline engines with zero emission electric vehicles.
NRG Solar Bowl
To celebrate the introduction of solar and renewable technologies to consumers at FedExField, Crane announced the “NRG Solar Bowl” Quarterback Challenge to be held on Sunday, Sept. 18, prior to the Redskins’ home game against Arizona.
The NRG Solar Bowl Quarterback Challenge will feature Redskins legends Joe Theismann and Mark Rypien as well as pro and college MVPs Joe Montana and Doug Flutie.
The Quarterback Challenge is intended to engage fans in the new sustainable energy initiatives at FedExField.
Others attending the press conference included U.S. Congresswoman Donna Edwards, (D-MD); Rushern Baker, County Executive, Prince George’s County; and James Brown, Host of NFL Today on CBS.
"I hope this installation will serve as a model for what can be accomplished at other [sporting] venues across the country," said Edwards.
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