MLB’s Cardinals Pitch A Solar-Powered Stadium

What do the St. Louis Cardinals, Kansas City Royals, Seattle Mariners, Boston Red Sox and the Arizona Diamondbacks all have in common? Well, besides all being part of Major League Baseball, they are all using solar energy to power a portion of their stadiums. The Cardinals are the latest team to join baseball’s solar lineup, installing 106 solar panels at Busch Stadium.

The team partnered with MicrogridEnergy, the Electrical Connection and Sachs Electric to bring about 32,000 kilowatt (KW) hours of solar energy to the stadium each year. The new power source began helping keep the beer cold and hot dogs warm on Opening Day earlier this month, but a special Solar Day will take place at the stadium on Sunday, April 29, as part of the Cards’ annual Green Week.

image via microgridenergy.com

The two solar arrays are on the roof of the ticket building and on top of a canopy covering the left centerfield bleachers. The panels generate electricity that is fed into the stadium’s electrical distribution system, offsetting the grid power used by stadium operations, ultimately reducing the electrical bills.

“This is all part of the St. Louis Cardinals’ commitment to green its game,” Joe Abernathy, vice president of stadium operation,s said in a statement. “Since the stadium opened in 2006, we’ve been able to cut our energy use by 20 percent and water use by 10 percent.”

Baseball isn’t the only major sport getting into the renewable energy game. Earlier this year, the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles said they are making good on plans to install more than 11,000 solar panels (3 megawatts (MW) of generating capacity) and 14 micro wind turbines, which, all told, are expected to generate about six times the power used during all Eagles home games.

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.