The start of FIFA World Cup 2014 is 10 weeks away. As Brazil deals with street protests against the World Cup and stadium construction delays, there is a bright spot and that is the ground-mounted solar array at the new stadium near Recife.
Arena Pernambuco, a new 46,000 seat stadium in the suburbs of Recife, will host 5 World Cup matches, including the USA vs. Germany on June 26. Aside from the action on the pitch, Arena Pernambuco’s most noteworthy feature is the 1,500 mWh solar system sitting adjacent to the parking lot.
Built and managed by Grupo Energia, with panels from 2014 FIFA World Cup sponsor YingLi Solar, the ground-mounted system will provide 30% of the stadium’s power on game days. When the stadium is not in use, the solar energy generated by the system will be delivered to the local community’s electricity grid through Brazil’s net energy metering program (expected # of homes served: 6,000).
Aerial view of Arena Pernambuco and its ground mounted 1,500 mWh solar system outside of Recife, Brazil. The stadium will play host to 5 matches in the upcoming FIFA World Cup and also is home to Clube Nautico Capibaribe (Photo Credit: PR Newswire).
YingLi Solar has made soccer sponsorship a major marketing pillar as it seeks to make good on its mission to bring affordable clean energy to all. In addition to the FIFA World Cup, YingLi also sponsors reigning European Champion Bayern Munich and US Soccer.
Visitors to Arena Pernambuco will be able to track the system’s performance at a Visitor’s Center designed to educate the public about solar energy. The solar array and tracking system seems to me a great vehicle for a green sponsorship, if not for the World Cup (very expensive), then for its main tenant–Clube Nautico Capibaribe, one of the Recife-area’s two biggest pro teams. Hopefully, for Nautico fans’ sakes, the move to the new, clean energy-powered stadium will give the club the juice (pun intended) to move back up to Serie A (the Brazilian major league) from Serie B (top minor league) as they were relegated for finishing in last place in 2013.
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