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August 9th, 2010

NASCAR goes green, racetrack powered by solar

Published on August 9th, 2010 | By: pwray@ceramics.org

Sure, it’s kind of an oxymoron: The gas-guzzling motor circuit goes green. But a solar-powered sport racing facility in Pennsylvania might help offset that footprint.

According to a Newswire press release, this solar project is a 3 megawatt ground-mount photovoltaic solar energy system at Pocono Raceway, installed over 25 acres adjacent to the 2.5-mile race track. The scope of this project is far from minor: with 40,000 photovoltaic modules drawing energy from the sun, the Pocono Raceway solar installation is now the primary electric energy source for the race track and is expected to add electricity to the local power grid

“NASCAR is committed to becoming a leader in environmental responsibility by reducing our impact and serving as a testing ground for innovative new approaches for sustainability,” said Brian France, Chairman and CEO of NASCAR. “This meaningful green project reflects the NASCAR industry’s collaborative approach to preserving the environment and highlights Pocono Raceway’s significant contribution as the first major U.S. sports venue to go green with 100% renewable energy. We encourage other tracks and sponsors to follow this lead in making sustainable programs and renewable energy a continued priority for the sport.”

Saving money was the initial reason behind the installation, says president Brandon Igdalsky. Price caps will soon be lifted on electric rates in Pennsylvania, and bills are expected to skyrocket. Windmills had been ruled out because of a lack of sustained winds in the area and the presence nearby of eagle and osprey nests.

 


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