Home of American motor racing embraces solar
Jul 2, 2014 - Andy Colthorpe - pv-tech.org
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The Indianapolis Motor Speedway, US motor racing's
spiritual home, has been fitted with what is claimed
to be the largest solar power plant at any sporting
facility in the world.
The 9MW plant, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Solar
Farm, was inaugurated at a ceremony on Monday. It
is located near the backstretch of the oval-shaped
racetrack. Under the terms of a power purchase agreement
(PPA), electricity will be sold to utility Indianapolis
Power & Light Company (IPL), which will also
own the Solar Renewable Energy Credits produced.
The project was co-developed by two companies, Sunwize
Technologies and Blue Renewable Energy. California-based
Sunwize designed, engineered and installed the project,
while Blue Renewable Energy negotiated the land lease
agreement between the involved parties. Engineering
and construction firm Swinerton Builders and clean
energy finance firm Clenera were also involved.
The system features 39,312 48” x 72” 230w
solar panels and will cover 16.8 hectares of previously
unused land. It will have an estimated monthly output
of 1100kWh, according to IMS.
J Douglas Boles, president of the speedway pointed
out that the innovations in energy generation in
some ways echoed the development and innovation that
went into the track’s own origins.
“In 1909, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway
was constructed in part to help advance the automotive
industry, which at that time was the new technology
of the day. Today, IMS is honored to be part of a
partnership with IPL, SunWize and Blue Renewable
Energy where innovation and technology are coming
together to bring diversification of generation resources
to this community. The unused land at the IMS property
just east of the race track has been transformed
into a solar energy production facility that will
provide an alternative source of energy to IPL customers,” said
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway announcement follows
in the wake of high profile solar being installed
at some of the football stadiums used for the FIFA
World Cup, which is currently taking place. This
includes the Estadio do Maracana, Brazil’s
major football ‘cathedral’, to be used
at the tournament’s final match which takes
place on 13 July.
Motor racing itself is slowly coming to terms with
the growing public popularity of clean energy, with
an all-electric racing class, Formula E, also holding
its official launch on Monday in London, England,
for a race series that begins in earnest in September.