The Seattle Seahawks’ Qwest Field will soon be powered by the sun, thanks to a new photovoltaic array that’s being installed even now. The array will consist of 2.5 acres of Solyndra modules installed on the Qwest Field event center, located adjacent to the stadium itself.
First & Goal Inc., which owns the stadium, issued a request for proposal for a solar array last September. It announced that McKinstry was the contract winner and that it was installing the Solyndra panels on May 18. First & Goal purchased the array, rather than going through a power-purchase agreement, said First & Goal spokesperson Suzanne Lavender. However, the company did not disclose the cost of the array.
“The array will feed directly into the Event Center electrical panel, and all power produced will be consumed on site,” Lavender said. The array will reduce the center’s utility bill by 21 percent.
The company chose the Solyndra circular thin-film panels for a number of reasons, according to Lavender.
“Solyndra offers an extremely lightweight, self-ballasted system that did not require us to penetrate the new roof as there was no structural framing required,” she said. “Additionally, since an elaborate support structure is not required for use with their product, the labor costs to install Solyndra’s system are dramatically less, making the total installed cost very competitive when compared to a more traditional photovoltaic system.”
The company also liked that the Solyndra system is easy to remove and re-install, “should any work need to occur on the Event Center Roof over the life of the system,” Lavender said.
The 3,750 panel array will be online by this summer, the company said. Installation of the system is expected to take two weeks, with other work to be completed afterward.
“The array can be seen from the Qwest Field Event Center garage and southwest landing areas from the stadium,” Lavender said.
Fans can also view a web-cam of the array and other aspects of a larger resource conservation project throughout the stadium that’s being done by McKinstry.
“Fans will be able to track the progress of the projects through educational kiosks, on-site signage, [and more],” Lavender said.