Trending, Venues June 14, 2017

Washington, D.C. – June 9, 2017 – Verizon Center: Ivory Latta (12) of the Washington Mystics after a regular season game (Photo by Allen Kee / ESPN Images)

The Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., is set to receive a jolt of electricity later in the year.

While fans of the NHL’s Washington Capitals and NBA’s Washington Wizards fill the arena with their vocal energy — both teams finished at or near the top of their leagues this past season — the center will be receiving its actual energy from a different source: the sun. Monumental Sports and Entertainment, which owns and operates the Verizon Center, will be receiving solar power in a deal with WGL Energy.

The solar power will be fed into the venue—which also hosts the Arena Football League’s Washington Valor, WNBA’s Washington Mystics, and the Georgetown Hoyas men’s basketball team, as well as concerts and other events—from a third-party offsite solar facility in Frederick County, Maryland. The deal, which also comes with solar renewable energy credits, means that the Verizon Center will be powered with 25 percent solar energy.

Monumental’s contract with WGL Energy could prove to be a win-win for both entities, but especially for the environment and the renewable energy cause. The venue will get 4.7 million kilowatt-hours from 3.5 megawatts of the solar facility. WGL Energy projects that the solar power will curb carbon emissions by the equivalent of removing 700 cars in a one-year span.

“Sustainability is at the core of our operations across all of Monumental Sports & Entertainment,” Dave Touhey, President of Venues at Monumental Sports & Entertainment, said in a statement. “We are excited to expand our energy relationship with WGL Energy by entering into this new partnership to bring more renewable energy to Verizon Center.”

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That the Verizon Center will receive a quarter of its energy from a renewable source is notable especially given that sports venues are often massive consumers of electricity, according to Abigail Ross Hopper, who leads the Solar Energy Industries Association. Professional hockey and basketball games often involve repeated flashing and dimming of stadium lights. Arenas also maintain digital ad boards around the seating bowl and a large quad-screen videoboard.

The Verizon Center is a member stadium of the Green Sports Alliance. According to the news release, the Center’s four teams are among the first in the United States to be powered by offsite renewable power. (Meanwhile, up Interstate 95, Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field is powered entirely by renewable energy thanks to solar panel banks and wind turbines perched atop the stadium’s end zone plazas.)

“While arenas or ballparks often have obstacles for installing on-site energy sources due to limited space, offsite energy provides opportunities for teams across the country to benefit from renewable energy,” Justin Zeulner, the executive director of the Green Sports Alliance, said in a statement. “Verizon Center and its teams are setting a prime example of promoting sustainable communities among their passionate fan base.”

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