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Sports Facilities Technology

Seattle Mariners Deploy Solar Panels at the Team's Arizona Training Facility

October 20, 2014


One of the sunniest places in the United States is Arizona, and many of its cities claim more than 300 days of sunshine per year. While Phoenix averages 330 days, Scottsdale boasts an impressive 350 days, which makes it the ideal location for baseball teams to practice during their off-season. The Seattle Mariners make the trek every year to the team’s Spring Training facility in Peoria, AZ. to avoid the notorious rains of the Northwest. The team also brought its environmental awareness from Seattle to its stadium in Peoria by installing a solar rooftop and carport system in partnership with Healthy Planet Partners (HPP), Kyocera Solar and Sky Engineering.

According to Michael Richter, Managing Partner of HPP, the Mariners’ is one of the leading teams in Major League Baseball when it comes to sustainable ballpark operations, which has resulted in reducing the use of natural gas by 40 percent and electricity by 25 percent. So the implementation of the solar panels in Arizona was just an extension of what it has been doing in Seattle to reduce its environmental footprint.

The project was completed with the collaboration from HPP, a Clean Energy (News - Alert) Solutions Fund that finances, implements and maintains distributed energy and energy efficiency projects that optimize performance in commercial buildings, and Kyocera (News - Alert) Solar, Inc., which provided engineering, project management support, finance partnership and the high-efficiency solar modules it manufactures. Sky Engineering and Construction Inc. was responsible for building the system at the Peoria Sports Complex.

Once it is fully operational, the 345kW solar array will generate around 529MWh of clean electricity annually. According to the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator, it is the same amount of energy required to power more than 33 homes for one year or burning more than 391,722 pounds of coal. This will eliminate close to 365 metric tons of CO2 emissions, which will be greatly appreciated by residents of Peoria.

As a whole the organization has been saving a considerable amount of money since it implemented an environmentally friendly program throughout the organization. Since 2006, it has saved more than $1.7 million in electricity, natural gas, water and sewer charges because of these practices. This has earned the organization American League Recycling Champions by Major League Baseball two years running.

“Incorporating solar in our energy mix, along with deploying other sustainable practices, is at the core of our operations.  Not only is 'greening' our facilities the right thing to do, it's also good for the corporate bottom line and we know this PV array at our Arizona training facility will be an important element in our overall energy savings plans,” said Joe Myhra, Seattle Mariners vice president of ballpark operations.

Edited by Maurice Nagle