Latin America’s First Solar Soccer Stadium

A 403 kW solar array will be installed on the roof of Pituaçu Stadium in Salvador da Bahia, the third largest city in Brazil.

Gehrlicher Ecoluz Solar do Brasil S.A has been awarded a contract for the planning and construction of the photovoltaic system, the first on a soccer stadium in Latin America.

The project will utilise flexible lightweight solar panels made by Uni-Solar and monocrystalline modules manufactured by Yingli. This isn’t Yingli’s first brush with soccer – in 2010, Yingli became the first renewable energy company in history to sponsor the FIFA World Cup

Construction will commence next month and the rooftop solar farm is expected to be connected to the mains grid by December 2011.

Ricardo da Silva David, Director of Gehrlicher Ecoluz Solar do Brasil said the project was an important contract for the partnership, particularly given plans for all twelve 2014 Soccer World Cup venues to have solar power systems installed.

Gehrlicher Ecoluz Solar do Brasil S.A. is a joint venture between German solar power company Gehrlicher Solar AG and the Brazilian environmental technology group Ecoluz Participações S.A.

Sporting venues are increasingly turning to solar power to generate clean electricity for their venues, and in some cases, to create a revenue stream through feed in tariffs.

Last year a 3 MW solar farm was constructed at the NASCAR Pocono raceway in Pennsylvania. Consisting of 40,000 solar panels, it was (and possibly still is) the largest solar sports stadium in the world; more than double the size of what was the second-biggest solar-powered sports venue at the time, a stadium in Taiwan with a 1.2 megawatt capacity.

Much smaller installations are also popping up all over the world at sports facilities; all playing a role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and slashing operational costs.

In Australia, national solar solutions provider Energy Matters installed a 10kW rooftop solar farm at Bankstown Basketball Stadium in  October 2010, based on REC solar panels. The company also installed four Siddons solar hot water systems at the facility; which are now saving the stadium operators 75 – 80% on electricity consumption compared to their previous electric hot water system.