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Lancaster's Clear Channel Stadium and other sports arenas going solar

December 16, 2010 | 12:21 pm

Take me out to the ballgame -– to see all the solar panels at the stadium.

At least that’s the refrain in Lancaster, where panels will go up at Clear Channel Stadium, home of the Class-A JetHawks minor league baseball team. The 340-kilowatt system is expected to shave $48,000 off the facility’s energy bill in its first year of operation.

There are five other city sites in Lancaster that are scheduled to get substantial solar treatment, but the stadium is joining a growing crowd of sports arenas that are taking a shine to sun-powered electricity.

Stadium In September, Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Basketball Assn., the National Hockey League and Major League Soccer signed a joint letter encouraging teams to spruce up their facilities with solar power.

Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles uses a solar array to offset 5% of its power needs. If all arenas and stadiums did the same, they’d generate enough electricity to power 4,812 American homes a year, according to the sports leagues.

AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants, uses solar power to operate its scoreboard. The 28 panels at Boston’s Fenway Park are used to heat water. Sports structures in Pittsburgh, Seattle and Cleveland also use solar-generated electricity.

Several massive solar efforts already exist overseas.

Taiwan's 50,000-seat Kaosiung World Stadium draws all of its power from nearly 9,000 solar panels. The Toyo Ito design is shaped like a dragon, with 152,000 square feet of panels on its curved roof to power more than 3,000 lights and two large screens.

The Stade de Suisse in Bern, Switzerland, is home base for the BSC Young Boys soccer club. It’s also the site of thousands of solar panels. For the 2022 World Cup, Qatar has revealed five stadium proposals that would all be powered by the sun.


1-megawatt solar array installed on World Cruise Center at Port of Los Angeles

-- Tiffany Hsu

Photo: Kaohsiung World Stadium in Taiwan. Credit: Inhabitat