When the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) released the solar development guide it prepared for every team in major league sports, one of its senior scientists was quoted as saying, “the private sector does not have to wait for government action in order for them to address the urgent issue of climate change.” But now it appears that old Uncle Sam is getting on the green sports bandwagon too, as the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge has joined forces with the Green Sports Alliance in helping to green the nation’s sports facilities.
Among the highlights stemming from the partnership so far include the energy efficient lighting overhaul of the Los Angeles Staples Center, which replaced over 3,000 halogen fixtures with LEDs, thereby reducing energy consumption by 12 percent and energy costs by over $80,000 per year.
In Seattle, the Mariners’ Safeco Field likewise installed high efficiency lighting, as well as public EV charging stations. Additionally, the facility has cut its carbon footprint via the addition of a 32.76-kilowatt-capacity rooftop solar array. This array — consisting of 168 solar panels installed on the elevator canopy of the parking garage and roof of the skybridge — generates 40,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually to power the facility’s internal televisions and monitors.
In St. Louis, the Cardinals’ Busch Stadium also got some on-site renewable energy in the mix with 106 new solar panels. The system produces 37,000 kWh of electricity on an annual basis.
And if those last two projects sound familiar, it’s because they were completed last April, before this partnership officially began. Ah, well — the private sector need not wait for government on climate change, but clearly, government doesn’t mind a little retroactive involvement with successful leadership in the private sector.