San Francisco 49ers unveil plans for energy efficient stadium

The San Francisco 49ers have a new stadium slated to be build in 2014, but the exciting part of this is that the new stadium will be LEED certified - the first LEED certified stadium in the NFL.

The new 49ers stadium will have three solar installations, including solar array-covered bridges, a solar canopy above the green roof and solar PV on the training center. The total system will have a peak capacity of 400 kilowatts.

The amount of energy produced in an entire year by the panels will be equal to the amount of energy used at the stadium during the ten home games of the season, according to Manny Rodriguez, VP of Sponsorships, Events & Charitable Giving for NRG Energy.

Over the course of a year, the stadium will be able to produce enough energy to power itself for the duration of the 10 home games on the 49ers schedule in 2014, however, that doesn’t mean that the stadium will be self-sustaining during the games.

Although NRG is claiming that makes the stadium “net-zero” on game day, the actual energy production from solar arrays will only generate enough power to cover a fraction of the stadium’s use. Rodriguez said on game day an NFL stadium needs anywhere from six to twelve megawatts of energy, with the high end being for a Monday Night Football game with lights.

This is a step in the right direction for the NFL and it’s exciting to see one of the teams taking the lead in designing and implementing a greener stadium.

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