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A Solar Re-Skin at FedEx Field

August 2, 2011 - 10:40am

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If solar power could score a touchdown, then this week’s news would definitely count.

On Wednesday, the Washington Redskins announced they are working with NRG Energy, one of America’s largest energy companies, to bring renewable energy to the football franchise.

This means more than just a few panels on the roof.

Through the partnership, NRG will install 8,000 translucent solar panels to cover 850 parking spaces in one of their parking lots. In addition to generating enough energy to run the entire stadium on non-game days, the panels will help protect tail-gaiting fans on those rainy game days.

The project will also bring in 10 electric vehicle charging stations. Even the art will generate electricity, with several sculptures featuring thin solar film technology. And, of course, there will be a plaza featuring renewable energy and clean energy technologies for those fans interested in joining the Redskins as they move toward a clean energy future.

Investments by major companies like the Redskins show the growing market demand for solar technology. The Energy Department’s SunShot initiative is working to accelerate this growth by investing in new research and technology to make solar energy more efficient and less expensive.

By developing more advanced solar technologies so we can convert the same amount of sun into even more power, creating more cost and time efficient manufacturing processes, and helping local governments cut the red tape on their overly burdensome solar permitting processes and fees, we can cut the cost of solar power by 75 percent before the end of the decade.

In doing so, solar energy will become cost competitive with fossil fuels -- like coal --  and make moving to solar power an easy and economical choice for businesses and homeowners across the country.

The Redskins’ investment this week is a milestone in our country’s needed transformation toward a renewable and sustainable energy economy. Now that's something we can all cheer about!

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