Blog Post

Major League Solar: Baseball Goes Green

America’s favorite pastime has got to stay current with the times, especially going into a summer with projections of record-high gas prices. Major League Baseball is working to green its image. The Seattle Mariners opened their season with the first fully carbon offset baseball game. The Mariners bought 230 tons worth of carbon offsets, taking into account not only the emissions created by running the stadium, but also all the trash generated as well as the estimated travel and accommodation costs of the two teams and their fans.

But MLB is working to do more than single, one-off green days. Several ballparks are now producing their own energy with solar power systems. While the players can blame the sun for that missed flyball, the stadiums can really benefit from those rays. Check out how these parks are going solar:

Boston Red Sox, Fenway Park: The Green Monster isn’t the only green thing in Fenway park anymore. This week the Boston Red Sox unveiled 28 solar hot-water panels on the roof at Fenway Park. The panels will use the heat of the sun to heat up water in the park, replacing a third of the natural gas currently used for water heating. This is first solar thermal installation at a Major League park, the Red Sox say.

The panels were manufactured by Heliodyne of Richmond, Calif., which has been working in solar thermal since 1976. The panels were installed by solar installer startup groSolar, based in White River Junction, Vt.

This is just part of the Red Sox initiative to green up “America’s most beloved ballpark.” Also on the cleantech docket is installation of solar-powered ‘Big Belly’ trash compactors around the park.

Colorado Rockies, Coors Field: Up at 5,277 feet, the Rockies are using an array of 46 panels to power their Coors Field LED scoreboard. The system, which churns out 9.9 kW of power, was bought by the Rockies through Xcel Energy. Designed and installed in just two weeks by Independent Power Systems, a SunPower Premier Dealer, the system consists of SunPower’s all-black, 215-watt modules, according to the company.

One really cool thing about the system is that you can watch the solar juice coming off the panels in real time online using Fat Spaniel’s monitoring system. You can see how much energy is being produced right now as well as how carbon emissions have been avoided over the lifetime of the system. Check it out and click around on the embed below.

San Francisco Giants, AT&T Park: It should be no surprise that the ballpark where you can buy an organic hot dog and one of 50 microbrew beers is also home to MLB’s biggest photovoltaic array. Designed by Mass.-based Solar Design Associates and installed by PG&E, the system is made up of 590 Sharp solar cells and can kick out about 120 kW. Not a huge amount, but enough to help keep the new energy-efficient scoreboard twinkling.

Cleveland Indians, Jacobs Field: Becoming the first American League ballpark to go solar, the Cleveland Indians and Green Energy Ohio collaborated to put 42 GE solar panels on a pavilion at Jacobs Field. The array can produce 8.4 kW of power and was designed by Doty and Miller Architects.

The Indians, like the Rockies, are also using Fat Spaniel to broadcast their energy production online, which you can check out here.

5 Responses to “Major League Solar: Baseball Goes Green”

  1. I’m working on converting a city streetlights, redlight and ball park to solar power. the city councelman asked me to find a ball park that has already gone solar so he can ask them questions.

    How do I get in contact with someone like this?