Football team Washington Redskins is powering its stadium with solar - enough to completely power it during most of the year when there aren't games, and partially power it when its filled with spectators.
The 2 megawatt (MW) system at FedEx Field, which will be finished in September, is being installed by utility NRG Energy (NYSE: NRG), one of the largest in the US. About 8,000 solar panels will cover the stadium and a covered parking lot.
NRG will educate fans and showcase renewable energy technologies at its branded entrance to the stadium. There will also be 10 electric vehicle charging stations there from NRG's eVgo charging network.
eVgo is one of the first privately funded electric vehicle charging networks in the US. NRG is the lead investor for the first phase of the visionary Project Amp, which is installing solar systems on industrial buildings across the US, and has invested in a privately held energy management company, among other projects.
In September 2010, the major professional sports leagues in the US delivered a letter encouraging their teams and facilities to use solar energy. The leagues distributed a comprehensive solar development guide produced on their behalf by the Natural Resources Defense Council.
The Redskins are among a handful of NFL teams that have taken such steps: The Washington Post reports that the Eagles and Seahawks also have projects underway to decrease their dependence on traditional energy sources, while the 49ers have proposed using solar panels to partially power their new stadium, and the Eagles, Jets and Patriots have solar panels at their practice facilities.