The Detroit Lions are among the NFL’s leaders – now there’s a phrase you don’t hear often – in utilizing solar power. This past week North Carolina’ s Power Home Solar announced a partnership with the team that includes solar projects at both Ford Field and team training facilities in nearby Allen Park.
With this announcement comes a major milestone for solar in the NFL: each of the league’s eight divisions now include at least one team with solar capabilities. The NFL leads the four major North American pro sports leagues in terms of the number of teams with installed capacity at 12 – 33% more than the MLB and NBA and 200% more than the NHL.
There may be more to come, as Power Home co-founder Jayson Waller told pv magazine that the company is in negotiations for further developments with the Lions, as well as multiple other stadiums in the upper midwest.
While Waller declined to reveal the installed wattage, he was able to share that the project is using panels made in Texas by Mission Solar, with Solar Edge 3-phase inverters.
While these systems are installed at Ford Field, they do not connect for use within the stadium itself, but rather the stadium’s parking garage. “We couldn’t seamlessly integrate them with our power grid,” said Ben Manages, a team spokesman, in an article for Crain’s Detroit Business. “We had to install them on parts of our footprint that weren’t necessarily tied from a power standpoint.”
Manages also added that the panels are a visual tool for fans to consider a personal move to renewable energy. This makes the timing and visibility of Power Home Solar’s partnership with the Lions even more opportunistic, as the company is expanding its commercial presence in the Detroit area.
“We moved into Detroit last May and we are now in 5 states and growing,” Said Waller. “Michigan is our largest state, we’re selling over a megawatt a month there.”
Power Home established a relationship with the Lions earlier this year, when punter Sam Martin partnered with the company on Earth Day educational sessions with Detroit-area students this past April.