Well, it does take a major solar array on a stadium to get me to blog about football, but that’s what the Redskins recently installed here in the DC metro area. So I wrote not one, but two articles about it:

Washington DC’s Football Team Goes Solar – VIDEO

According to Clean Technica, “a typical NFL stadium uses enough electricity in a year to power about 1,000 average U.S. homes, leaving some football teams with annual power bills of more than a million dollars.” But starting this fall, Washington Redskins’ FedEx Field will draw 20% of game day power from their newly installed parking lot solar array. On off days, solar will provide 100% of the stadium’s power.

The team contracted with the New Jersey company NRG to install 7,500 solar panels over top 841 covered parking spaces, 525 roof panels, and “a thin-film structure built into a 30-foot silhouette of a quarterback dubbed ‘Solar Man,’ whose passing pose recalls Redskins legend and Hall of Famer Sammy Baugh”, according to USAToday. The installation also includes charging stations for electric vehicles.

Solar energy is one of the priorities of the Green Sports Alliance. The alliance’s co-founder, Alan Hershkowitz explains in the video above that “18 percent of Americans say they pay attention to science, while 56 percent of Americans say they pay attention to sports. So if you want to influence American culture, are you going to send scientists out there to spout out the latest facts about global climate disruption or are you going to send a message to the supply chain that solar panels are being put in football stadiums?”

originally posted on Care2

And then I discuss possible motives on the part of Redskins owner Dan Snyder:

Redskins Go Solar at FedEx Field with NFL’s Largest Installation

Love him or hate him, you know Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder makes shrewd business decisions. That’s among the reasons the new solar panels at FedEx Field are turning heads. 

Snyder entered a contract this summer with New Jersey’s NRG Energy to install enough solar panels over parking spaces and on the roof top of the football stadium to generate 20% of the facilities energy on game days and all of its power on non game days. 

Snyder is quoted by USAToday saying, “It’s something we’re proud of doing for the environment for the future. We believe and understand what’s taking place here in the shift and the transformation of the United States and being involved early is really special for us.”

Journalist and blogger Marc Guther speculates that, since Snyder is not known for his environmental ethics, the move could be as much about team rivalry and securing energy costs for the long term as going green. The Seattle Seahawks were the first team to install solar technology on their stadium and the Philadelphia Eagles announced plans for a green energy trifecta – solar, wind, and biofuels – at the last Superbowl.

Whatever his motives, Green Sports Alliance co-founder, Alan Hershkowitz is cheering: “18 percent of Americans say they pay attention to science, while 56 percent of Americans say they pay attention to sports,” he told EnergyNow. “So if you want to influence American culture, are you going to send scientists out there to spout out the latest facts about global climate disruption or are you going to send a message to the supply chain that solar panels are being put in football stadiums?”
Read more about solar power at Redskins’ FedExField and watch a video report featuring Snyder, Hershkowitz and more.

originally posted on Examiner.com

Now back to our regularly scheduled programing . . .