3…2…1 Go Solar!  At halftime of the Washington Redskins football game on September 18th, football fans and solar enthusiasts alike celebrated a new feat for the solar industry.

Solar Man, a 30-foot tall football player made out of flexible solar panels, greets fans at Gate A.

Solar Man, a 30-foot tall football player made out of flexible solar panels, greets fans at Gate A.

At the flip of a switch, NFL greats, Mark Rypien and Joe Theismann, and NRG CEO David Crane officially inaugurated the new NRG solar power installation at FedEx Field.

This new solar installation is now the largest in the NFL and the largest in the D.C. metro area.  The 2 MW array is composed of 8,000 solar panels that cover various parts of the Redskins campus.  More than 7,500 of the panels provide shaded parking for 841 parking spaces in one of the stadium lots and space for 10 electric vehicle charging stations.

On game day when close to 90,000 people flock to the stadium, these panels will account for 20 percent of FedEx Field’s power.  Remarkably, on non-game days, this new solar system will meet the entire stadium’s energy needs, equivalent to powering approximately 300 Washington, D.C. homes over a one-year period.  Furthermore, the solar system will keep 1,780 metric tons of carbon out of the atmosphere, equivalent to taking 349 gasoline fueled vehicles off the road.

Joe Theismann, Doug Flutie, NRG CEO David Crane, Joe Montana, and Mark Rypien before the Quarterback Challenge.

Joe Theismann, Doug Flutie, NRG CEO David Crane, Joe Montana, and Mark Rypien before the Quarterback Challenge.

At the game, former NFL quarterback Doug Flutie, 49ers Super Bowl MVP Joe Montana, Redskins Super Bowl MVP Mark Rypien, and Joe Theismann unveiled the “NRG Solar Bowl” Quarterback Challenge located at Gate A of the stadium. Gate A, or the NRG Solar Plaza, now houses translucent solar panels and a 30-foot tall football player made out of flexible solar panels, aptly named “Solar Man.” At the base of this solar football hero on game day, kids of all ages were pictured on the Redskins website throwing footballs, laughing, and playing with some of their own NFL quarterback heroes there to celebrate the new installation.

Sol Systems would like to congratulate NRG and the Washington Redskins on a job well done!  This is a great step for the solar industry, and we look forward to seeing how professional sports will continue to work toward a clean energy future.  Finally, good luck to the Redskins!  They are certainly off to a fantastic start this season with a 2-0 record!

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