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Go Green & Root For Your Team!!

By Glenn Cowan

In keeping with the “environment” theme of this month's Pattaya Trader magazine we wanted to cover a handful of sporting stadiums that have taken the decision to go green. As recently we have seen a wide range of sporting venues think more about their impact on the environment, so here are our top picks….

Morro da Mineira, Rio, Brazil

Opened in 2014 by Pelé, the football pitch serves as many as 200,000 local residents in nearby Favelas.Where this venue comes into it’s own is that underneath the turf there are over 200 kinetic tiles. Player's movements are turned into energy to power the stadium bulbs.

It certainly isn’t the biggest arena, but nonetheless is worthy of a mention. Put simply, the more the players run around the more the floodlights work. Perhaps not the ideal setting for some players, but you certainly get out what you put in!

NASCAR’s Pocono Raceway, Pennsylvania, USA

Host to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is a 2.5 mile-long raceway in Long Pond.

A 3MW solar farm produces sufficient power to not only power the race venue, but also to power the local grid for 1,000 nearby residents.The farm is spread across 25 acres and produces 3-4 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of power. Some 40,000 PV modules produce enough energy to offset over 3,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide each and every year.It is believed that the net production of the solar farm will exceed 72 Million kWh by 2030.

Estádio Mineirão, Brazil

The stadium dates back to a time when there was perhaps, much less concern for the environment, 1956 to be more precise.However, in 2013 in preparation for the upcoming World Cup the Estadio Mineirao was equipped with a solar-powered roof.Also rather than just feeding the stadium itself, the 1.4MW solar roof provides more than enough juice to satisfy the needs of around 900 homes per year.

The New Lawn Stadium, Gloucestershire, UK

It won’t win awards for being the largest stadium around; however, the 5,032 capacity home of English non-league side Forest Green Rovers are in the Champions League when it comes to being eco friendly! Built in 2006 the stadium cost around £3.5 Million to build, which without question represented a huge investment for a non-league football team.An organic pitch (a world’s first) is kept neat and tidy with a solar-powered robotic mower. If that wasn't enough, on top of that, the rainwater is recycled.

FedEx Field, Maryland, USA

The largest venue in the NFL is home to the Washington Redskins “football” team and boasts a capacity of 85,000 seats. Opened in 1997, the FedEx Field was renovated in 2012 with the addition of 8,000 solar panels. The onsite solar PV system is capable of producing 2MW of capacity, in real terms this is around two and a half times the power consumed during regular seasons games ! 7,600 of the panels are located in the parking area, with the remainder situated over the stadiums ramp structure, helping to create a highly efficient energy centre.

The Amsterdam Arena, Amsterdam, Holland

The largest stadium in Holland see’s the Dutch National team and Ajax play their home games, with a capacity of over 53,000.One of it’s most impressive claims to fame is that it is “net climate-neutral”. In real terms this is achieved by a whopping 4,200 solar panels in the stadium’s roof area. Rainwater is also reused for keeping the pitch in tip-top condition whilst cooling is assisted by cold water supplied from a nearby lake.In true Dutch efficiency wind turbines are located strategically around the stadium. In a twist to the normal plastic seating, the futuristic furniture is actually made from sugarcane, offering some of the sweetest views in all of Dutch football!

National Solar Stadium, Taiwan

At the time of building, the multipurpose stadium featured the largest solar panel roof in the world! The Japanese designed stadium is shaped somewhat like a dragon, with semi-spirals setting it apart from many other stadiums and opened in 2009 it was the first in the world to provide power using solar technology. Panels cover the external space of the stadium and provide power for it’s own operation, alongside energy that can be returned to the local grid.

The stadium itself only covers 13% of the total ground area, with the remainder being put to good use for ecological ponds and natural habitat reservations. After the match, visitors can take a leisurely stroll around the park areas.

Estádio Nacional Mané, Garrincha, Brazil

Brazil’s national capital stadium incorporates a gigantic solar-panel system around the perimeter of its roof. If you aren’t familiar in electrical lingo 1 megawatt is generally enough to power over 300 homes. So the 25 Million megawatts that are generated help to make a huge dent in the energy budget of the stadium. To complement the energy efficient roof area the stadium also has the ability to capture and reuse rainwater for irrigation purposes.

Being eco friendly and energy efficient is not just the preserve of large stadiums such as these,

you too can play your part in becoming more energy efficient. Think about your own carbon footprint and what can be done on a local level with solar and other renewable energy forms!!