Solar Power A Big Goal For 2014 World Cup

The first solar-powered fútbol stadium (soccer for U.S. readers) in Latin America is in the works in Brazil. The effort is part of a larger push to outfit all of the 2014 World Cup venues in the counry with solar power systems.

Gehrlicher Eclouz Solar do Brasil – a joint venture of German photovoltaics company Gehrlicher Solar and Brazilian environmental technology group Ecoluz Participações – was awarded the solar contract by the Brazilian utility Coelba. Included in the agreement are the planning and construction of what’s said to be the first photovoltaic (PV) system on a soccer statium in Latin America.

solar power, World cup

image via Gehrlicher Solar

The 403-kilowatt system will be installed at Pituaçu Stadium in Salvador, with flexible, lightweight thin-film modules going atop canopies covering the grandstands. Monocrystalline modules will be mounted onto the locker room and some of the parking lot roofs. Construction on the project is slated to begin this month and the system is expected to be connected to the grid by December.

Gehrlicher Solar said there were plans to install solar at the other 11 stadiums – some newly built, others refurbished – that will host 2014 World Cup games in Brazil, although it wasn’t clear how many of those projects Gehrlicher might take on or when they would begin. In addition to Salvador, games will take place in this cities of Belo Horizonte, Brasília, Cuiabá, Curitiba, Fortaleza, Manaus, Natal, Porto Alegre, Recife, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. Earlier this year, soccer’s governing body, FIFA, announced that the Chinese company Yingli Green Energy was a sponsor of the 2014 tournament. The sponsorship deal gave Yingli ticketing and hospitality rights and perimeter board advertising, as well as the right to use FIFA World Cup emblems and logo, but there was no mention of participating in the installation of solar power at the stadiums.

Kristy Hessman is a writer and native Oregonian who currently resides in California. Before starting her own company, she worked as a reporter covering business and politics for daily newspapers and The Associated Press.