It’s a Goooooooooaaaaaaaaal! And it’s happening. As Brazil preps for hosting FIFA’s World Cup in 2014, at least seven of its stadiums are incorporating solar arrays to provide on-site power generation for one of the world’s largest sporting events. At least two of the installations were recently completed, one in the capitol city Brasilia — which may become the world’s first LEED Platinum stadium, too — and another in Rio De Janeiro. More installations are on the way.
The stadiums and their solar arrays will help reduce their use of grid-supplied energy. But they’ll also demonstrate the power and benefits of solar to billions of soccer fans around the planet. Since Brazil is hosting the Olympics in 2016, some of the stadiums will also be used for events in that worldwide event.
Brazil’s President, Dilma Rousseff inaugurated the National Stadium Mane Garrincha this past weekend at the 2013 Brasilia's Championship soccer game between the Brasilia and Brasiliense soccer teams. The stadium will also host the opening match of the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013 between Brazil and Japan on June 15. Next year it will host seven of the World Cup matches in Brazil, including the game for the second runner up.
Brazil also recently reopened the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro. The retrofit of the stadium includes a solar array as well, and the stadium also is trying to qualify for LEED status. “It is a smart building. You collect water from the surface. There are fifty thousand square meters for collecting the water, which may be used in the toilets. The roof’s compression ring has solar power panels. It is not much now, but in the future we’ll be able to use the roof’s membrane for solar power. The technology for this is still being developed,” stated Icaro Moreno Junior, president of the Rio de Janeiro State Public Construction Company, which rebuilt the stadium.
The stadium in Brasilia may be the first to achieve LEED Platinum status, the highest status awarded by the Green Building Council. Its rooftop features a 2.2 megawatt photovoltaic array. All the materials from the former stadium were collected and reused on and off-site. The stadium also stores rainwater in five tanks, where it is filtered and treated to be reused in the toilets and for irrigating the pitch, according to Brazil’s World Cup site.
In the coming months more of the solar-powered stadiums will come online as Brazil attempts to hold the most sustainble World Cup to date.
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