Monumental Sports & Entertainment and WGL Energy Services Inc. have announced a partnership that will allow Verizon Center – a Washington, D.C., arena home to the Washington Wizards, Capitals, Mystics and Valor, as well as concerts and other entertainment events – to purchase power from a new solar facility in Maryland.
The solar electricity purchased by Monumental Sports & Entertainment to power Verizon Center will be sourced from an off-site, third-party-owned solar facility in Frederick County, Md., and bundled with national solar renewable energy credits – allowing the sports and entertainment facility to operate using 25% solar energy.
“Off-site renewable energy is one of the fastest-growing sectors within the energy industry,” says Dr. Louis J. Hutchinson III, vice president and chief revenue officer for WGL. “As renewable energy offerings continue to mature, it’s exciting to see the sports industry play a major role in sourcing off-site renewable energy.” WGL has served as the official energy and greening partner of Verizon Center since 2015.
“Sustainability is at the core of our operations,” says Dave Touhey, president of venues at Monumental Sports & Entertainment, which owns and operates Verizon Center. “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.”
Beginning in late 2017, Verizon Center will receive about 4.7 million kWh per year of energy from 3.5 MW of the solar project. Verizon Center is a member of the Green Sports Alliance, and through this new partnership, the Wizards, Capitals, Mystics and Valor are among the first professional sports teams powered by off-site renewable energy.
“While arenas or ballparks often have obstacles for installing on-site energy sources due to limited space, off-site energy provides opportunities for teams across the country to benefit from renewable energy,” says Justin Zeulner, executive director at the Green Sports Alliance. “Verizon Center and its teams are setting a prime example of promoting sustainable communities among their passionate fan base.”
“Professional sports facilities, such as Verizon Center, consume incredible amounts of electricity, and switching to solar power can really reduce costs,” comments Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association. “This highly innovative project is part of a trend being led by major corporations, which see a significant return on their investment, while improving air quality in communities across America.”