The 2024 Super Bowl sets the stage not only for a showdown between the NFL’s best teams, but also for a major environmental milestone. This year, Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas will host a Super Bowl powered entirely by— a first in the history of the event.
The seemingly desolate area of the Nevada desert is the source of the green energy used to power the game.
A vast solar farm with more than 621,000 panels shimmers like a mirage but with the capacity to power nearly 60,000 residential customers – or a very large stadium.
The Las Vegas Raiders, who call Allegiant Stadium home, have entered into a 25-year agreement to purchase power from this new solar facility owned by NV Energy.
CEO Doug Cannon said the solar installation would provide more than 10 megawatts of power for the Super Bowl. This amount of energy is roughly equivalent to the consumption of 46,000 homes.
Sustainability was a priority when the stadium was built, according to Raiders President Sandra Douglass Morgan.
The stadium’s roof is made of a durable plastic material that lets in about 10 percent of daylight but blocks all solar heat, requiring less energy to cool the building. The turf field is moved outside on a rail system to benefit from natural sunlight rather than using energy-intensive grow lights. And everything from grass clippings to food scraps and cigarette butts is composted or converted into other forms of energy.
“When you come to a game you might think about just focusing on the game, but when they hear that and know that we are conscious of our environmental footprint, I hope that guest leaves and has the same state of mind. ‘mind when he gets home.’, Morgane said.
The Super Bowl’s push for green energy was highlighted during a visit from U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, who inspected the stadium’s main electrical entrance hall.
“People are sometimes nervous about renewable energy because they don’t know if it will be reliable. The fact that renewable energy can reliably power a facility like this should say a lot about what could happen in other communities,” Granholm said.
The solar farm not only powers current needs, but also houses huge batteries to store renewable energy, ensuring a five-hour power supply even when the sun is not shining. The technology is seen as a key part of transitioning the U.S. power grid to 100% clean electricity by 2035, a goal set by President Biden.
Despite the focus on environmental sustainability, Super Bowl entertainment, including a halftime showwill not be compromised.
“We have enough power for Usher and all his lights and all the fanfare that will be there,” Cannon said.
Watch the Super Bowl on your local CBS station, on Nickelodeon and streaming on Paramount+ on Sunday, February 11.
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