Solar Power at the Super Bowl

February 3, 2014 By William Opalka

SolarStadiumsSuper Bowl XLVIII may have been played after dark, but on-site solar power was helping to light the stadium.

MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, on February 2 hosted the Super Bowl. During the game, aerial footage showed 916 external LED fixtures powered by 1,350 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels with a total generating capacity of 276 kW, according to the Energy Information Administration.

MetLife Stadium, home to the New York Jets and New York Giants, opened in 2010, and its PV installation was completed in August 2012. The total capacity of the PV installations is typically dwarfed by the energy needs of powering a football stadium during games and other events, but these onsite energy systems can help reduce the amount of electricity pulled from the local distribution grid.

Local utility Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) partnered with the NFL Environmental Program to provide green power for the game, the first Super Bowl held in the New York-New Jersey metro region. PSEG also acquired wind power and is retiring a renewable energy certificate for every megawatt of power consumed.

When stadiums are not in use, their PV systems can feed electricity into the local grid.

To date, PV installation projects at NFL facilities are concentrated in the northeast region of the United States and on the West Coast.

For example, Lincoln Financial Field, the home of the Philadelphia Eagles, has brought online 11,000 PV panels and 14 wind turbines that provide up to 3 MW of power. SunPower will supply 400 kW of its high-efficiency solar panels to the new San Francisco 49ers’ Santa Clara Stadium.

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