Solar At Safeco Field

Baseball was the first sporting event ever played under the lights and now baseball is finding ways to save energy costs to pay for those lights. Earlier this year, the Seattle Mariners joined the Boston Red Sox, St. Louis Cardinals, Cleveland Indians, Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants in adding photovoltaic solar systems to their ballpark.

The 32.76–kilowatt PV panel system at Safeco Field is expected to produce 40,000kWh of electricity each year. Panasonic, who is a sponsor of the Mariners, provided the 168–panel system at a discount. The solar panels were installed on the elevator canopy for the parking garage and over the skywalk. This system is expected to reduce the need for conventional electricity of the garage by 10 to 30 percent.

As a way to bring attention to the PV system and its energy production, monitors have been installed so fans as well as stadium operators can see what the solar panel system output is at any given time. A Panasonic representative said Mariner fans may even see this information displayed on the big screen.

Another change that will benefit the Mariners bottom line as well as the environment is the move to smarter, greener operations at the ballpark. By using efficient light fixtures and a more efficient HVAC system, the Safeco Ballpark is doing its part to lower its carbon footprint.

Expect to see more and more bins for recycling the wrappings of all the favorite foods fans indulge in at the games. Electric and electric hybrid car owners will be able to park and recharge their vehicle at recently installed charging stations while watching the game.

The Cleveland Indians took one further step into distributed renewables by installing a 24,000kWh wind turbine on top of a tower at Progressive Field stadium. The experimental helical design was designed at Cleveland’s own state university's engineering department funded by the US Department of Energy. Because the turbine sits higher than most installations and benefits from the winds coming off Lake Erie, the capacity factor is expected to be between 40–50–percent rather than the usual 25–30–percent.

To find out how you can participate in distributive renewables in Washington, visit NW Wind and Solar, a sister company of SME Inc. of Seattle. As a full service renewable energy company, NW Wind and Solar can develop customized systems for homes and businesses. For a free, no–obligation evaluation of your property contact NW Wind and Solar.