Fans of the Washington Redskins, who suffered through a dismal 6-10 season last year, might or might not get a winner this fall. But if they like renewable energy they will have something to cheer for at FedEx Field: Under a new sponsorship deal with the energy giant NRG, solar panels capable of generating up to 2 megwatts (MW) of electricity are due to be installed at the Landover, Md., stadium by September.
Under the nine-year deal – NRG’s first foray into professional sports sponsorship – FedEx Field will get a solar-energy system capable of fully powering stadium operations on non-game days, and partially powering it when the Skins are in action. Some panels will be placed in the stadium, but fans might be more keen on the 8,000 going up in the parking lot, where they will provide cover to 850 parking spaces. Talk about a win-win: In sunny weather they’ll produce power, and in inclement weather they’ll provide cover for tailgaters.
At one of the stadium’s gates, a plaza will showcase and inform fans about renewable energy technology, and feature items such as translucent solar panels and sculptures that use thin film solar technology.
The deal with NRG gave Redskins owner Dan Snyder, a controversial and often reviled figure in the nation’s capital, a chance to say something nice and innocuous: “Our partnership with NRG will add to the fans’ game day experience at FedExField and offers a unique example of how solar energy installations can do more than generate power. We are excited to be part of this effort that will reduce our environmental impact and offer our fans another unique experience.”