Solar At the Ballpark

Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.

Solar panels already power several major league baseball stadiums, and the latest is National Park in Washington, D.C., which announced yesterday that they have teamed up with WGL Energy Systems to install 4,080 solar panels above two of the garages next to the Park and it will supply power to the ballpark and provide covered parking for fans.  MASN Sports reported that:

  • The power from the project will create a total of 1.46 megawatts of energy, supplying an estimated 10 percent of the ballpark’s electricity needs;
  • The new solar panels will produce approximately 1,890 megawatt hours of electricity each year, which is enough to power the equivalent of more than 182 homes and will avoid greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to taking approximately 285 vehicles off the road annually;
  • Nationals Park was the first professional stadium to be LEED Silver certified by the United States Green Building Council.

The baseball team in “first place” for solar is the San Diego Padres — their Petco Park installed a 336,520-watt Solar Power system prior to opening day in 2018, for a savings of more than $4 million. Last year the Arizona Diamondbacks installed a similar solar array at Chase Field in Phoenix — an open-air pavilion for fans is topped with solar panels that provide shade from the desert sun.  Safeco Field in Seattle also has an impressive 33-kWh solar system, which generates 40,000-kilowatt hours of electricity each year, which is enough energy to offset 28 metric tons of CO2 emissions.   The Boston Red Sox, St. Louis Cardinals, Cleveland Indians, Kansas City Royals, and San Francisco Giants all also have solar powered systems at their ballparks.  

Why This Matters: Baseball is America’s pastime — and as a result, stadiums are the perfect place to show leadership on renewable energy and educate many fans who may not know much about clean energy, climate change, and sustainability.  So we say, play ball!  And a tip of the cap to the teams that do it under solar-powered lights!

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