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New San Francisco 49ers Stadium to Use Solar to Achieve LEED, Net Zero

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — NRG Energy, the Santa Clara Stadium Authority, and the San Francisco 49ers announced an agreement to bring sustainable energy to the new Santa Clara Stadium. Through this partnership, NRG will help the new facility become the first professional football stadium to open with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification and the first professional sports venue to achieve net zero energy performance in California during 49ers home games.

NRG will install a number of state-of-the-art solar elements, including three solar array-covered bridges, a solar canopy above the green roof on the suite tower portion of the stadium, and solar panels over the 49ers training center.

The arrays will have a total peak capacity of about 400kW and will provide enough power over the course of a year to offset the power consumed at the stadium during 49ers home games. As a result the stadium will be the first professional sports venue in California to achieve net zero energy performance.

Jed York, chief executive officer, San Francisco 49ers, said, “As we strive to build a stadium that embodies all that is unique and special about both the Bay Area and Silicon Valley, this partnership with NRG will make very lofty goals become realities.”

One of the most unique features of the facility is the green roof atop the suite tower on the west side of the stadium. The three solar bridges, connecting the main parking area to the stadium, will include hundreds of solar panels. The solar bridges will be the first in the NFL.

"The 49ers are not only one of the leading and most successful franchises in the history of the NFL, they have also been for decades community leaders in the Bay Area and with the entire 49ers fan base. Today and going forward, we are honored to support the 49ers as they extend their off-the-field community leadership into the critically important arena of clean and sustainable energy," said David Crane, president and CEO of NRG Energy. “And NRG is proud to partner with the San Francisco 49ers and the Santa Clara Stadium Authority in the pursuit of another milestone, the LEED certification of their new stadium.”

In addition to the solar array, the stadium’s green initiatives include public transit access, convenient bicycle parking, a walking path from the San Tomas Creek Trail, water-conserving plumbing fixtures, recycled materials, and a number of other sustainable design elements.

For more information, visit www.nrgenergy.com.

Publication date: 2/18/2013

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