Eagles Stadium To Go Off-grid With Mega Solar and Wind Electrical Production

The Philadelphia Eagles have made an historic move to power Lincoln Field with a combination of off-grid solar, wind and dual-fuel generated electricity. The Eagles are a shining example of a great corporate citizen making it the world’s first major sports stadium to convert to self-generated solar and wind renewable energy.

In one the countries largest solar and renewable energy installation, a comination of 2,500 solar panels and wind turbines are to be installed creating local jobs. The total elecricity generated will be the equivelent of what 26,000 homes would use. During the off season, the Eagles expect to send 4 mega watts of energy back to the grid.

In a news release the Eagles said they have contracted with Orlando FL-based SolarBlue, a renewable energy and energy conservation company, to install approximately 80 20-foot spiral-shaped wind turbines on the top rim of the stadium, affix 2,500 solar panels on the stadium’s fa├žade, build a 7.6 megawatt onsite dual-fuel cogeneration plant and implement sophisticated monitoring and switching technology to operate the system.

Over the next year, Solar Blue will invest in excess of $30 million to build out the system, with a completion goal of September 2011. Solar Blue will maintain and operate the stadium’s photovoltaic and wind power system for the next 20 years at a fixed annual price increase in electricity, saving the Eagles an estimated $60 million in energy costs.

The Eagles and Solar Blue estimate that over the 20-year horizon, the on-site energy sources at Lincoln Financial Field will provide 1.039 billion kilowatt hours of photovoltaic and wind electricity more than enough to supply the stadium’s power needs taking it off-grid most of the year and enabling an estimated four megawatts of excess energy off-peak season to be sold back to the local electric grid.

Against a backdrop of trees symbolizing the Eagles’ commitment to reforestation, the Luries invited special guests to join them in signing the Go Green! Team’s Declaration of Energy Independence by going solar, which “seeks to create a better living environment by reducing the world’s dependence on fossil fuels.”

The greening of Lincoln Financial Field is a significant step by a major sports franchise to achieve that goal. The energy to be generated by on-site renewable sources is comparable to the annual electricity usage of 26,000 homes. Engineers at Solar Blue estimate that converting the stadium to renewable energy will eliminate CO2 emissions equivalent to 500,000 barrels of oil or 24 million gallons of gasoline consumed annually. That equates to removing the carbon emissions of 41,000 cars each year.

“The Eagles’ plan for Lincoln Financial Field represents one of the most extensive renewable energy solar and wind commitments by any major facility,” said Lee Maher, Chairman and CEO, Solar Blue. “The energy plan will utilize the most technologically advanced wind turbines and solar panels. With this installation, we anticipate that many businesses will see the benefits of renewable energy and be inspired to emulate the Eagles’ bold leadership.”

Beyond the substantial environmental advantages, the Eagles’ solar renewable energy plan will create hundreds of jobs for the Philadelphia area. Solar Blue anticipates directly employing 200 local people during the year-long design and installation phase. One-quarter of these jobs will be permanently maintained over the 20-year operational horizon. In addition, the project will generate approximately 600 indirect jobs in the surrounding region as a result of Solar Blue’s commitment to utilize local contractors, vendors and suppliers, as available.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter stated, “The Philadelphia Eagles have been great corporate citizens for many years, most specifically working with disadvantaged youth throughout the City. But we also know the Eagles to be green; they don’t just wear green, they sincerely believe in the concept of responsible environmental stewardship. We appreciate their commitment to an issue that is at the core of the City’s Greenworks Philadelphia Plan, to become the Greenest City in America.

Today’s announcement will help reduce the City’s carbon footprint, create hundreds of much needed green jobs and put our City on the world stage helping our broken economy. This type of solar and wind energy forward thinking will serve as an excellent example to every organization that wants to play a role in strengthening our local economy while helping the environment.”