The home of the Seattle Seahawks appears to be going “SeaGreen”. In a recent announcement made by Qwest Field and Event Center, it was announced that a large-scale rooftop solar power system was scheduled to be installed on the bright white roof of the event center so that it may begin operations later this summer. The new system, which is being called the largest solar energy array to date for the state of Washington, is expected to generate over 830,000 kilowatt hours of electricity each year-enough to power up 95 Seattle homes for a full year.
Seattle-based McKinstry, which originally designed and constructed Qwest Field, has been contracted to install the solar power system which will reportedly involve a total of 3,750 individual solar panels manufactured by Californi- based Solyndra. The thin film solar panels being used for the project are designed to capture both direct and reflected sunlight across a 360 degree cylindrical surface. As planned, the system will cover a little over 2.5 acres, or about 80%, of the event center’s roof.
In addition to installing the solar array, McKinstry is developing a resource conservation project for both Qwest Field and the event center. The firm has reportedly identified several modifications that can be made to reduce energy and water use throughout the complex, including high-efficiency lighting and ultra-low flow water fixtures.
The combined projects are expected to cut annual utility costs by 21% and reduce carbon emissions at a level equivalent to removing 260 cars from Seattle streets. This green move by Seahawk’s owner Paul Allen comes not long after the Portland Trailblazer’s (also owned by Allen) announced its arena had achieved LEED Gold certification.