Phillies Go Loco For Local Solar

Keystone Solar Project, Courtesy of Community Energy The Philadelphia Phillies and their mascot the Phanatic have recently renewed their commitment to renewable energy, they’ve been buying Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) for a number of years now. But this time, they’re buying Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) that will be produced in Pennsylvania at the 6 megawatt Keystone Solar Project by Community Energy, Inc. 

The Phillies are among a growing number of professional sports franchises that are choosing to use renewable energy to power at least of the their electric needs. In fact, NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles—whose stadium is a block away from the Phillies—have wind and photovoltaic electric generation onsite. Other teams along the East Coast, including the Washington Redskins, the New York Jets and the New England Patriots, have all installed solar generation.

The Phillies have been purchasing enough RECs to offset all their energy use at Citizens Bank Park since 2008 when the team and stadium became the first Major League Baseball team to join the Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership Program, which encourages companies organizations and yes, major sports venues, to purchase green energy. And the Phillies, through their “Red Goes Green” campaign remain the largest renewable energy purchaser in MLB. 

“The Phillies purchased more renewable energy credits than any other team in baseball,” said Community Energy Vice President Jay Carlis. “I think what’s really unique about what they’re doing now is they’re buying local.” Previously the team had purchased RECs from sources both within Pennsylvania and beyond the state’s borders, he said. 

The Phillies aren’t legally obligated to purchase RECs, Carlis said. “This is purely a voluntary purchase on part of Phillies. They’re not subject to any regulations in terms of renewable energy,” he said.

Under the contract with the Community Energy the Phillies will purchase 22 million kilowatt-hours of renewable energy credits from wind and solar generation. That’s enough to power all of Citizen Bank Park’s Electric consumption for two years. While that’s short of a longer commitment, such as a power-purchase agreement or an outright system installation, it’s common in the REC industry, according to Carlis. That’s likely because the prices can fluctuate radically over any given time period. 

Community Energy has been in the Pennsylvania market since 1999. “We started in 1999, selling Pennsylvania wind to Pennsylvania companies. When we stared developing wind, there were only 10 megawatts east of the Mississippi when we started,” Carlis said. “By 2006 we were exclusively marketing from over 200 megawatts [of wind east of the Mississippi].” 

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