Major League Ballparks Power Up With Sun, Wind

ST. LOUIS, Missouri, April 13, 2012 (ENS) – Missouri’s two major league baseball teams have scored solar energy projects. Both the St. Louis Cardinals and the Kansas City Royals have installed solar panels that were up and generating power when the 2012 season opened.

The fans will see the new solar arrays today when the Cardinals and the Royals each host their first games of the 2012 season.

At the Cardinals’ home ballpark, Busch Stadium in St. Louis, the defending World Series champion Cardinals and St. Louis-based Microgrid Energy have installed 106 solar panels on the roofs of the concession area and ticket building in the Ford Family Plaza.

The solar array at the stadium’s northeast corner will produce up to 32,000 kWh of energy each year. The Cardinals will celebrate Solar Day on April 29 when they play the Milwaukee Brewers.

“We are excited about this installation because of the tremendous impact we expect it to have on raising awareness and educating people on the strong viability of solar in Missouri,” says Microgrid Energy CEO Rick Hunter. “The Royals and Cardinals have such a strong presence in our state, so it is exciting to think about the far-reaching impact their solar projects will likely have on growing interest in solar in Missouri.”

120 solar panels atop the canopy of Kauffman Stadium’s Outfield Experience. (Photo by Chris Vleisides / Royals courtesy Major League Baseball)

At Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, the Royals have partnered with the local electric utility, Kansas City Power & Light, to install a solar array capable of producing 36,000 kWh of energy each year.

The largest in-stadium solar array in the major leagues, 120 solar panels are mounted on the roof of Kauffman Stadium’s Outfield Experience canopy facing south.

A kiosk has been placed in the Outfield Experience to inform fans about the benefits of solar energy. Fans can learn how to monitor the production of solar energy and how solar energy benefits Kauffman Stadium and the greater Kansas City region.

“KCP&L is proud to partner with the Kansas City Royals on this project – the largest in-stadium solar array,” said Chuck Caisley, KCP&L vice president of marketing and public affairs. “KCP&L has a long-standing history of supporting renewable energy projects and is now excited to be able to do that while supporting America’s national pasttime.”

Caisley says the solar array could generate enough energy to power refrigeration for all the beverages in the stadium. “So your beer is going to be cooled by the sun,” he smiled.

The solar array installation marks the first step in a long-term commitment between the Royals and KCP&L to maximize renewable energy resources at the ballpark, the venue for the 2012 All Star Game.

“The Royals are committed to making Kauffman Stadium one of the most environmentally-friendly facilities in sports,” said Kevin Uhlich, Royals senior vice president, business operations. “We are excited to partner with KCP&L to bring the latest technologies in sustainable energy to the ballpark, especially as we prepare for the 2012 All-Star Summer.”

New spiral wind turbine at Progressive Field (Photo by Through my windshield)

The partnership ties into the renewable energy initiatives of Major League Baseball, which will be highlighted during the 2012 MLB All-Star Game and festivities in Kansas City this summer.

Five other stadiums have installed solar panels, including the San Francisco Giants’ AT&T Park, Colorado Rockies’ Coors Field, Arizona Diamondbacks’ Chase Field, Boston Red Sox’ Fenway Park and the Cleveland Indians’ Progressive Field.

At Progressive Field this season, an unusual wind turbine is generating electricity alongside the solar array, the first wind turbine to be installed by a Major League Baseball team.

The newly patented spiral wind turbine is the brainchild of Dr. Majid Rashidi, chairman of Cleveland State University’s department of engineering technology, who calls it a “helical wind turbine.”

The wind-deflecting structure with small-scale turbines can generate power at low wind speeds. This innovative design is better for urban areas and confined spaces than a long-bladed wind turbine. It is rated at 25,000 kWh, and generates enough electricity to power two typical homes for a year.

Development of the wind turbine was funded through grants from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2012. All rights reserved.