By: Joe Lemire
The San Diego Padres announced the installation of Major League Baseball’s largest solar power system. Sullivan Solar Power, founded by a San Diego native, is outfitting Petco Park with the 336,520-watt sustainable energy project of 716 high-efficiency, 470-watt solar modules expected to produce more than 12 million kilowatt-hours over a quarter-century — larger than MLB’s other seven solar installations combined, the company said. The San Francisco Giants, Colorado Rockies, Cleveland Indians, Seattle Mariners and Boston Red Sox are among the other organizations to use some solar power.
The renewable energy project is expected to save more than $4.1 million in utility costs and comes at a reported cost of $1 million, per the San Diego Union-Tribune. Workers are outfitting the stadium’s roof with the panels and will run more than a mile of electrical conductors.
“With Petco Park serving as the premier sports and entertainment venue in San Diego, we take pride in continuing to make it the most energy efficient and sustainable facility possible,” Padres chief operating officer Erik Greupner said in a press release Wednesday. “We are pleased to partner with Sullivan Solar Power on this project, which represents a further step by the Padres to improve the energy efficiency and sustainability of Petco Park.”
The city is in the midst of a comprehensive Climate Action Plan unanimously passed by the city council in 2015, intending to be 100-percent reliant on renewable energy while cutting greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2035. The Padres have said they reduced energy consumption by some 40 percent two years ago by installing 400 LED lights and conserving water.
“San Diego continues to lead the way on climate action as we march toward our ultimate goal of 100 percent renewable energy,” San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer said. “We are going to need great, committed partners in the business community to do their part in order to get there. That’s why I’d like to commend the Padres for turning the best ballpark in the country into one of the most environmentally-friendly. Petco Park will serve as a model for the rest of Major League Baseball and as an example for other San Diego businesses to follow.”