The red, white, and blue of Verizon Center will be just a little bit greener next season.
Yeah, that’s probably the kind of lede Monumental Sports would want me to write based on the news Thursday that the sports arena will get 25 percent of its power from solar by the end of this year – kinda, sorta.
Verizon Center won’t be directly powered by solar energy, but rather a portion of the energy it used will be offset by solar energy somewhere else.
Partnering with WGL Energy, Monumental Sports is using a system called offsite renewable energy, wherein a company pays a solar facility to return to the grid an amount of power equal to a certain percentage of the company’s consumption. For Verizon Center, that means 4.7 million kilowatt-hours per year, or about a quarter of the building’s power diet. That power will come from the 3.5 megawatts generated from an unnamed facility in Frederick, Maryland.
Washington, DC does not offer tax credits for solar, but Maryland is one of the most solar-friendly states in the country.
Monumental notes that the solar offsets will represents the equivalent of taking 660 cars off the road for a year.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 8, 2017) – Monumental Sports & Entertainment and WGL Energy Services, Inc. (WGL Energy), a WGL Holdings, Inc. company (NYSE: WGL), today announced a partnership that will allow Verizon Center, home to the Washington Wizards, Capitals, Mystics and Valor, as well as concerts and other entertainment events, to purchase power from a new solar facility in Maryland.
The solar electricity purchased by Monumental Sports & Entertainment to power Verizon Center will be sourced from an offsite, third-party owned solar facility in Frederick County, Md., and bundled with national solar renewable energy credits, allowing the sports and entertainment facility to operate using 25 percent solar energy.
“Offsite renewable energy is one of the fastest-growing sectors within the energy industry,” said Dr. Louis J. Hutchinson III, Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer for WGL. “As renewable energy offerings continue to mature, it’s exciting to see the sports industry play a major role in sourcing offsite renewable energy.”
“Sustainability is at the core of our operations across all of Monumental Sports & Entertainment,” said Dave Touhey, President of Venues at Monumental Sports & Entertainment. “We are excited to expand our energy relationship with WGL Energy by entering into this new partnership to bring more renewable energy to Verizon Center.”
Through this partnership with WGL Energy, Monumental Sports & Entertainment will reduce its carbon footprint and support the environment, while benefitting from electricity price certainty at Verizon Center during the long-term contract.
Beginning in late 2017, Verizon Center will receive about 4.7 million kWh per year of energy from 3.5 MW of the solar project. The carbon emissions avoided from the annual solar energy use are equivalent to taking nearly 700 cars off the road for one year.
Verizon Center is a member of the Green Sports Alliance, and through this unique new partnership, the Wizards, Capitals, Mystics and Valor are among the first professional sports teams powered by offsite renewable energy.
“While arenas or ballparks often have obstacles for installing on-site energy sources due to limited space, offsite energy provides opportunities for teams across the country to benefit from renewable energy,” said Justin Zeulner, Executive Director at Green Sports Alliance. “Verizon Center and its teams are setting a prime example of promoting sustainable communities among their passionate fan base.”
“Professional sports facilities, such as Verizon Center, consume incredible amounts of electricity, and switching to solar power can really reduce costs,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). “This highly innovative project is part of a trend being led by major corporations, which see a significant return on their investment, while improving air quality in communities across America.”
WGL has served as the official energy and greening partner of Verizon Center since 2015. Through the partnership, WGL Energy has donated carbon offsets to counterbalance emissions from Washington Wizards, Washington Capitals and Washington Mystics home games, concerts, and other events. Last year over 3,123 tons of greenhouse gas emissions from 201 events at the arena were counterbalanced with carbon offsets. This is equivalent to avoiding the consumption of over 351,000 gallons of gasoline or taking 660 cars off the road for 1 year.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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