Solar Panels and Major League Baseball

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Solar Panels Go Major: The Greening of the American Professional Sports Stadium
Major League Baseball Green Stadiums
E / The Environmental Magazine has provided definitive proof that solar cells are not merely a part of an underground, counter-cultural movement. Doug Moss reports that Major League Baseball Stadiums are now greening their stadiums with solar energy. You heard that right.

Installation of Solar Cells at Cleveland Indians’ Progressive Field

The Cleveland Indians were the first Major League team to use solar energy panels at their stadium. In 2007 they installed an array of panels with solar cells on the stadium’s upper deck.

The organization spent a lot of money on the solar energy system. Scientific American reports that the total bill came to $180,000. The Indians paid for $100,000 and the rest was covered by grants.

Major League Baseball: Saving Money With Solar Energy

That’s a large bill, but the solar panels produce 8.4 kilowatts of energy, which a spokesperson for the Indians claims is, “enough to energize the 400 televisions we have in the ballpark.” Loyal fans and green enthusiasts alike can even track the stadiums progress at Green Energy Ohio.

More Green Efforts and Solar Power in MLB

The Seattle Mariners, who do not have solar panels but have intentionally reduced their gas and electricity consumption, have saved almost half a million dollars in two seasons. This suggests what many environmental product innovators have been saying for years: investing in solar cells and similar technology can save money in the long run because it reduces dependency on the electricity grid.

The Cleveland Indian’s have not yet calculated how much they will save each year.

Major League Stadiums Using Solar Energy
Major League Baseball and Solar Energy 2Progressive Field in Cleveland is not the only ballpark to get a boost from solar energy. The Boston Red Sox, for instance, installed 28 solar water heaters on Fenway Park’s Roof. This virtually eliminates the need to heat water with electricity or gas.

AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants, has also installed solar lights that will generate enough electricity to power the park’s large scoreboard.

Solar Panels Go Major: MLB and Green Efforts

This points to the simple fact that solar energy panels, solar water heaters, and solar lights are not a part of a counter-cultural movement. Making smart decisions like using solar cells has become mainstream because it makes good business sense as much as it makes good environmental sense.

If companies can reduce, or even eliminate, their consumption of coal-generated electricity by installing solar cells, then it is wise for them to do so, especially when the long-term result means saving money. Consumers should not forget that when stadiums use less electricity from local grids, it influences supply and demand so residential energy costs could actually decrease too, as a result.

Video on Exxon Mobil Green Leed Certified Baseball Stadium: Washington Nationals Park

The Washington Nationals ballpark is the first stadium to be LEED Silver Certified by the U.S. Green Building Council. But controversy looms large as the facility continues to receive sponsorship and ad money from Exxon Mobil, one of the world’s largest contributors to global warming.

This article is courtesy of Matt Thompson, staff writer at Easy Ways to Go Green; it was edited by Matty Byloos, Editor and Publisher.
Photographs Copyright Adam Hadhazy / Scientific American

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