The Philadelphia Eagles today announced a plan to power Lincoln Financial Field with a combination of onsite wind, solar and dual-fuel generated electricity, making it the world's first major sports stadium to convert to self-generated renewable energy.
The Eagles 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 façade, 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, SolarBlue will invest in excess of $30 million to build out the system, with a completion goal of September 2011. SolarBlue will maintain and operate the stadium's 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. Video Player : Eagles Announce Ground-Breaking Environmental Initiative
The Eagles and SolarBlue estimate that over the 20-year horizon, the on-site energy sources at Lincoln Financial Field will provide 1.039 billion kilowatt hours of electricity – more than enough to supply the stadium's power needs – enabling an estimated four megawatts of excess energy off-peak 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, 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 commitments by any major facility," said Lee Maher, Chairman and CEO, SolarBlue. "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." Photo Gallery : Eagles Announce Go Green! Stadium Initiative
Beyond the substantial environmental advantages, the Eagles' renewable energy plan will create hundreds of jobs for the Philadelphia area. SolarBlue 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. This type of 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."