Sharp Solar Teams Up for Demonstration Project

What an energizing time for baseball. The Boston Red Sox came back from an unprecedented three game deficit to make it to the World Series, and now the San Francisco Giants have teamed up with Sharp Solar to have a major solar-electric demonstration project completed on their stadium by the beginning of next year’s baseball season.

The demonstration project at SBC Park in San Francisco, which was announced during the Solar Power 2004 Expo in San Francisco, is the first part of a multi-year agreement between the solar energy company and the California ball club. The strategic sponsorship alliance is designed to promote solar energy, though the exact details of the facility could not be disclosed yet and are likely to evolve over time, according to Dave Fogelson of Sharp Electronics. Sharp Electronics is the U.S. sales and marketing subsidiary of Sharp Corporation, Osaka, Japan. With over 45 years experience in the field, Sharp has been the world’s leading producer of solar modules the past four years. Sharp entered the U.S. solar market in 2002, began manufacturing solar panels in Memphis, Tennessee in 2003 and became the market leader in terms of overall capacity earlier this year. “With more people recognizing solar energy’s benefits, including reducing energy bills, offsetting peak power demand, improving air quality and lessening our dependence on foreign energy sources, the timing is right to raise awareness of solar through an association with a major, professional sports franchise,” said Ron Kenedi, General Manager of Sharp Electronics’ Solar Systems Division. “Sharp’s association with the San Francisco Giants is the kind of leadership partnership the industry requires to generate greater support for solar among influential constituencies in the public and private sectors. California is the leading solar energy market in the U.S., and the San Francisco Bay Area is known in the industry as the nation’s solar energy capitol. According to the California Solar Energy Industry Association, more than 450 companies employing approximately 4,000 people are involved in California’s solar industry. “Given Sharp’s market leadership, a sponsorship in San Francisco with the Giants to promote solar energy is a natural,” said Andrew Kritzer, Senior Director of the Strategic Marketing and Communications Division of Sharp Electronics. “This is unique partnership within Sharp’s multi-faceted sports marketing program which includes sponsorships with MLB, NBA, NFL and NHL franchises.” “The Giants are proud of our many ‘first-of-their-kind’ endeavors which we have incorporated into our operations at SBC Park,” said Jorge Costa, San Francisco Giants Senior Vice President of Ballpark Operations. “We believe we have been on the cutting edge in adapting technologies and procedures that benefit the fan experience here at the ballpark. Our partnership with Sharp Electronics provides us with the capability to offset some of our energy demands with a natural and cost efficient energy source and stay on top of the trends and technologies that enhance the SBC Park experience.” Additional details on the sponsorship will be announced prior to the start of the 2005 Major League Baseball season.
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