49ers to zero in something other than their game, thanks to PV

SunPower CEO Tom Werner and 49ers CEO Jed YorkThe San Francisco 49ers’ new $1.2 billion stadium in Santa Clara, CA., will zero out all its energy use during home games thanks to the 400 kilowatts of PV that SunPower and NRG Solar are providing the new stadium, which is slated for completion in 2014. It’s a zero that any NFL team can be proud of and it’s part of what’s been designed from the ground up as the first net-zero energy NFL football stadium.

"SunPower is excited to have the opportunity to help power the new stadium with clean, reliable solar power, and to join the 49ers in a commitment to top performance, whether it is on the football field or in the solar market," said SunPower CEO Tom Werner. "This is an ideal partnership for SunPower, as we deliver the world's highest-efficiency solar panels for the new iconic, state-of-the-art facility."

The 400 kilowatts of PV will be divvied up into a series of separate arrays at the stadium including three PV-covered bridges, a PV canopy above the stadium’s green roof on its suite tower and another over the 49ers training facility, according to SunPower. Over the course of a year, the arrays are expected to offset all the electricity used at the stadium during home games.

"We are pleased that SunPower's industry-leading solar technology will be an integral part of our innovative and sustainable vision for the stadium," said Jed York, CEO, San Francisco 49ers. "It is fitting that SunPower, with its global headquarters less than two miles from the new stadium, will be providing us with its high-efficiency solar panels."

The stadium is not the first football stadium to go solar. Stadiums from coast to coast are adding solar in. Such systems offer great visibility and can be the tipping point for people to consider going solar themselves. For instance, stadiums in Maryland, Washington, New Jersey and Massachusetts have all added solar. Thus far, the largest PV installation is likely at the Washington Redskins FedEx Field in Maryland. That system, also consisting of multiple arrays and provided through a partnership with NRG Solar, is over 2 megawatts.