Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hosts Major Solar Farm

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Solar Farm (IMS) – currently the largest solar power station at any sporting facility in the world – was officially opened this week.

IMS sits on 1,000 acre parcel of land and the 9 megawatt facility occupies 68 acres of previously unused land.

The project, which consists of more than 39,000 solar panels, was developed by SunWize Technologies and Blue Renewable Energy.

Electricity generated by the solar farm will be purchased by Indianapolis Power & Light Company (IPL). IPL has set a goal of generating 10% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2017.

“The new IMS solar farm will be a constant reminder to those who visit the largest spectator sporting facility in the world of the creative solutions taking place here in Indianapolis to increase sustainability,” said Ken Zagzebski, President of AES’ U.S. Strategic Business Unit, parent company of IPL.

IMS Solar Farm will generate enough power to meet the needs of 1,000 households consuming 1,100 kWh of electricity a month and will avoid 10,288 tonnes of carbon emissions annually.

Solar arrays are becoming an increasingly common feature at racetracks. One of the first US racetracks to install solar was a 3 megawatt facility constructed at Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania in 2010.

With racing venues often well-attended, they are also being used as a tool for promoting green energy in other ways. Earlier this year, Lockheed Martin and the American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE) embarked on a campaign to promote clean energy technology at racetracks during the 2014 season.

Solar is also popping up at other sporting venues. Recently, Yingli Solar supplied 1 MW of solar panels to help power Arena Pernambuco, the site of five 2014 FIFA World Cup matches. Yingli Solar was the first renewable energy sponsor of the FIFA World Cup and its exposure played a significant role in the company being named Germany’s 3rd most recognised Chinese brand.