A new trend in sports stadiums becoming environmentally friendly has begun to take off. The new Meadowlands Stadium, home to the New York Jets and New York Giants, was built “green” using 40,000 tons of recycled steel and features solar panels and energy-efficient light bulbs. The Consol Energy Center , home of the Pittsburgh Penguins, became the first National Hockey League arena to achieve Gold LEED certification. Most recently, Lincoln Financial Field, home to the Philadelphia Eagles, has unveiled plans to upgrade their stadium to be the, “first major sports stadium in the world to convert to self-generated renewable energy using a combination of onsite wind, solar and dual-fuel generated electricity.”
Jeffrey Lurie, Philadelphia Eagles team owner and CEO said:
The Philadelphia Eagles are proud to take this vital step towards energy independence from fossil fuels by powering Lincoln Financial Field with wind, solar and dual-fuel energy sources. This commitment builds upon our comprehensive environmental sustainability program, which includes energy and water conservation, waste reduction, recycling, composting, toxic chemical avoidance and reforestation.
The Eagles have teamed up with Solar Blue to complete the project. With a completion goal of September 2011, Solar Blue will “build, install, maintain and operate this new power system that will include approximately 80 spiral-shaped wind turbines, 2,500 solar panels, and an onsite dual-fuel cogeneration plant.” The project is estimated to cost $30 million and will create about 200 local jobs. Additionally, the Eagles stand to save an estimated $60 million in energy costs, as Solar Blue will maintain and operate the stadium’s power system for the next 20 years at a fixed annual price increase in electricity.
Contractors should be on the lookout for job opportunities as other stadiums and arenas around the country renovate to incorporate renewable energy.