MetLife Stadium and Other NFL Facilities Put Solar Energy on Display, in a Big Way

metlife solar

The solar panels on the MetLife Stadium form a ring of colored light around the stadium at night.

MetLife Stadium is more than just the home of the National Football League’s New York Giants (reigning Super Bowl champions) and New York Jets.  The NFL’s largest stadium is also the home of 1,350 solar panels which produce 25 times the power required to run the stadium’s LED lights at night.  The bright lights, which are a high-profile symbol of the value of renewable energy sources, turn green or blue, depending on which home team is on the field.

The ring of solar panels on MetLife Stadium debuted at the first game of the current football season, when the New York Giants played against the Dallas Cowboys.  The Super Bowl champs may have lost the opening game, but their use of solar power is definitely a winning play which anyone who is energy conscious will recognize and appreciate.

The excess power generated by MetLife’s solar panels will be used to power the rest of the stadium.  The 350,000 kilowatt hours produced cover about 10 percent of the energy requirements on game days.

MetLife Stadium

The MetLife Stadium's winning look was designed just in time to light the way for The Giant's successful season.

David Crane, who is the chief executive officer of NRG Energy, which designed the ring, first got a good look at the new solar-powered lighting system on the New York stadium from an airplane.  He believes this new feature will emerge as an iconic physical element of the stadium and that the lights look a lot more impressive from the outside.  In fact, he said they look “very, very impressive.”

Crane commented on the fact that the cost of solar panels has dropped tremendously, making it easier for companies to see a return on their solar system investments.  He also pointed out that installing solar panels on a desert plain is much more cost efficient than installing panels with a sophisticated, stylized look, as is the case at MetLife Stadium.

Crane says that he hopes a second phase will continue with the installation of solar panels as well as electric car charging stations in the enormous parking lot at MetLife Stadium.

Fedex solar

Besides the New Yorkers, other teams are following suit with the installation of solar systems including The Washington Redskins at FedEx Field.

The New York teams aren’t the only ones sponsoring renewable energy projects.  Two teams unveiled clean energy projects at the end of last year’s football season.  Eight thousand solar panels were installed at the home of The Washington Redskins’ FedEx Field.  A new solar array made up of 3,750 solar panels was revealed on the roof of CenturyLink Field, home of the Seattle Seahawks.

A canopy is currently under construction at Patriot Place, adjacent to the New England Patriots’ Gillette Stadium.  Rooftop panels will also be installed — as many as 3,000 solar panels — on top of a Sleepy’s Mattress store.    The canopy will provide a cover for patrons of Patriot Place.  Between the panels and the canopy, approximately 1.1 million kilowatts per year will be produced, which adds up to about 60% of the energy needed to power the outdoor shopping and dining center.

The owner of the Philadelphia Eagles, Jeffrey Lurie, has announced that a plan is underway to make Lincoln Financial Field the most eco-friendly facility in the NFL.

More and more NFL teams will likely get on board the shift toward renewable energy, especially if they want to rise above the efforts being made by Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer – which are also great stories about the advancement of clean energy among professional sports teams.

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