Solar and MLB: A Homerun

Since Busch Stadium opened in 2006, those involved with the St. Louis Cardinals have tried to leave a greener footprint. Microgrid Energy has assisted this crusade for the last three years. CEO Rick Hunter says the energy company has helped save more than $1 million for the MLB franchise by way of energy efficiency measures. The latest improvement to be undertaken was a 25-kW solar rooftop and canopy system.

Hunter says the goal of the solar project was to raise awareness and knowledge of solar power and its benefits.

“Stadiums use a lot of power, and there aren’t normally a whole lot of good roof or ground spaces for solar,” he says. “But there is a great opportunity to install demonstration projects that can really have an impact through their visibility and through leveraging the wide influence of the team.”

A concession area was chosen for a canopy and a ticket building received roof-mounted panels. A custom structure had to be built to support the solar canopy. An educational kiosk provides information about the project and solar energy in one of the park’s plazas.

Hunter says that although the installation is small, the promotional opportunity solar power receives often outweighs the energy savings. And even bad press can sometimes be good press for the industry.

“We are sort of hoping that every once in a while a player will hit a deep homerun and crack a module,” Hunter jokes, “then we can give the sports news people something interesting to report that involves solar.”

Check out how solar is benefiting the NFL here.

Listen to more in-depth conversations on Solar Builder's YouTube channel

Our most popular series include:

Power Forward! | A collaboration with BayWa r.e. to discuss higher level industry topics.
The Buzz | Where we give our 2 cents per kWh on the residential solar market.
The Pitch | Discussions with solar manufacturers about their new technology and ideas.