The Super Bowl and Solar Power: A Super Fit

Super Bowl LI was arguably the greatest football game in Super Bowl history, complete with a come-from-behind overtime win, stellar halftime show power. A growing trend among newer stadiums in the NFL, most people didn’t realize solar energy helped power NRG Stadium during Super Bowl LI. It’s just one of the ways solar power made Sunday super.

NFL stadiums famously consume an enormous amount of power every Sunday during the season, but some stadiums have wised up in recent years and included solar energy among their power sources. Super Bowl LI on Super Sunday was a super solar source.

Houston’s NRG Stadium featured 180 kW of solar energy thanks to its solar canopy structures across many areas of the property, joining other NFL stadiums and making solar power in the NFL a bigger reality.

NRG Stadium’s Super Sunday

NRG Stadium hosts the Houston Texans, but the multi-purpose stadium hosted Super Bowl LI Sunday between the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots – two organizations that have also made impressive efforts to go green at their stadiums in recent years.

Officially opening in 2002, NRG Stadium (formerly Reliant Stadium) was the NFL’s first-ever retractable roof stadium. But modifications over the years have helped the building become much more energy efficient, especially compared to other mammoth buildings.

Some of the stadium’s energy-efficient attributes include a new LED lighting system that consumes 60-percent less energy than it previously did. It’s now one of just a few NFL stadiums to use LED lighting to light its field.

In 2015, NRG Stadium came through with one of its best installations – four modern renewable energy structures designed by DLR Group, including six electric vehicle charging stations in the stadium’s parking lot. A transparent solar canopy over the main entrance to the stadium helps draw in solar energy, as well as two solar pedestrian bridges that link the main parking lots to the stadium.

The 4,500 SF weatherproof solar canopy over the main entrance provides not only a nice shadow for vendors and fans in line for tickets, but it also generates electricity.

This stadium’s solar energy system has a size of 180 kW and it consists of 600 solar panels across four separate locations. The energy that NRG Stadium produces annually offsets the power used by 22 households in the Houston area.

Football fans driving electric cars can park in prime locations near the stadium, giving their cars a good charge while they enjoy the game.

Solar Power in the NFL

The Houston Texans are one of several NFL teams that have started to embrace solar energy. Levi’s Stadium, home of the San Francisco 49ers since the summer of 2014, has an impressive 375 kW solar array, which helped energize Super Bowl L between the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos.

The proliferation of solar power in the NFL at several stadiums, including the Patriots’ Gillette Stadium, is helping the NFL lead the way in renewable energy. The Falcons’ Georgia Dome does not yet run on renewable energy, which might explain why the Falcons ran out of energy in their Super Bowl LI overtime loss. There is speculation, however, that Mercedes-Benz Stadium, their new home coming in 2017, will partially run on solar.

If you’d like to learn more about how you can save money on electricity, like the NFL, contact Power Production Management for a free solar quote for your home or business at (803) 814-4786 or contact them here!