Word from the Charleston Post and Courier (and thank you once again to il Brucio at Du Nord for finding this link), is that USL side Charleston Battery's Blackbaud Stadium is going to be converted to solar power.
Now how cool would this be? Dynamo Park is still a long way off, but what would it say to the city of Houston (where environmentalism has a -- how shall I put this kindly -- uneven record to say the least), to MLS and to the nation at large to have the new facility, when it's built, do the same thing?
I understand this is getting ahead of things, way, way, way ahead of things. But take a look at these images on the left. You see the Astros' Minute Maid Park in the background and the field on which Dynamo Park is currently projected to be built in front. ParadiseTexas is slated to cost as much as the retractable roof did for the Astros' palace, which, as we all remember, was initially named "Enron Field."
Bringing in solar or renewable energy to Houston, the self-proclaimed Nation's Energy Capital, via the local soccer team, would make a splash like no other. PR wise, it's a winner. Cost-wise, it's a slam dunk winner. This is one of those situations where, with Carolina as the proving ground for the experiment, there could potentially be no real down side. The more you think about it, the better it gets.
"Houston Dynamo: Powered by the Sun" It has a nice ring to it.
Here's the story below, which you can also link to here.
Blackbaud Stadium going solar
Saturday, February 9, 2008
On many nights, Blackbaud Stadium is powered by the Battery. Now the Daniel Island soccer facility will be solar-powered as well.
The Charleston Battery has joined the pro-environmental movement with its a "Go Green" initiative which it hopes will help reduce its carbon footprint.
To achieve this goal, the Battery is implementing a wide range of energy-saving and environmental initiatives at Blackbaud Stadium, highlighted by the installation of 60 solar panels.
Located behind the goal at the north end of the stadium are six poles, each mounted with 10 solar panels generating 11 kilowatts of power through photovoltaic, or the conversion of sunlight into electricity. The system is expected to offset approximately 12 tons of carbon dioxide per year.
"The array is one of the largest private solar panel installations in the region and we are excited to be producing and using green, clean, energy here at Blackbaud Stadium," said Andrew Bell, director of soccer and stadium operations.
"The panels are visible to every fan in our stadium and will also be seen clearly during our nationally televised games this coming summer.
"It's a terrific way for us to reduce the stadium's carbon footprint and utilize the team's fan base to get the word out to a wider audience about global warming."
The solar panels system was installed by Columbia-based Argand Energy Solutions, a leading designer and installer of solar electric (PV), wind energy, and solar hot water systems.
"The system has been designed to offset energy usage on-site during the day while the sun is out and to educate the public about sustainability and renewable energy," said Erik Lensch, owner of Argand Energy Solutions.
"There will be web-monitoring software to get real time data transmitted to the scoreboards and a kiosk with information about the solar generated energy system."
The Battery, which opens the season March 15 with a home match against an MLS team, plans to have the environmental initiatives completed in time for its "Go Green Night" on May 9.