Seattle’s Climate Pledge Arena on its way to Net Zero with 1.2-MW solar array

Excelsior Energy CapitalMonarch Private CapitalUnico Solar Investors, Oak View Group and the Seattle Kraken have completed three solar installations, a total of 1.2 MW, as part of the historic redevelopment of Climate Pledge Arena, which aims to be the first stadium in the world to be Net Zero Carbon-certified by the International Living Future Institute (ILFI).

“Climate Pledge Arena is the new gold standard for sports and entertainment venues, setting an example not only by demonstrating how adaptive reuse can work for large-scale redevelopment, but also showing how these energy-intensive buildings can be reimagined for a greener future and a healthier climate,” said Brett Phillips, vice president of Unico Solar. “We’re thrilled to be part of this project’s ambition to achieve net Zero Carbon certification and look forward to bringing solar energy to arenas across the U.S.”

Under the historic landmark roof designed by renowned architect Paul Thiry, the multipurpose Climate Pledge Arena can accommodate 18,100 sports fans or concertgoers. In addition to the Kraken Training Center at Northgate, where the NHL’s 32nd franchise trains, solar panels have been installed on the new Alaska Airlines Atrium and the First Avenue North parking garage.  

“Excelsior Energy Capital through its UX Solar partnership with Unico Solar is honored to be the proud owner and operator of these arrays and to support the Seattle Kraken and the Climate Pledge Arena in realizing their net Zero Carbon objectives,” said Anne Marie Denman, partner at Excelsior.

Solar panels convert sunlight into electricity, and Seattle’s wet climate helps keep the panels clean. The solar panels, in conjunction with off-site renewable energy, provide the arena with 100% renewable energy. Climate Pledge Arena has implemented measures for water conservation and zero-waste, including eliminating single-use plastic within the arena by 2024, as part of an overarching goal to be the most environmentally friendly sports and entertainment venue in the world.  

“We knew that our plans to create the world’s most sustainable arena were ambitious, but we also knew that with the right priorities and the best team, we could meet the challenge,” said Rob Johnson, vice president of sustainability and transportation for the Kraken and Climate Pledge Arena. “Through our partnership with Unico Solar, we were able to create and execute a renewable energy plan that puts us one important step closer to achieving our goals.”

The Climate Pledge Arena solar installation is part of a 250 MW portfolio of commercial and industrial solar projects being developed by Unico Solar and Excelsior across the United States. The sites will sell clean electricity to a diversified mix of consumers, including commercial businesses, property owners, municipalities, educational institutions, entertainment facilities, utilities, and other electricity customers under long-term PPA.

To finance the project Excelsior partnered with ESG tax equity investor, Monarch. Monarch’s ESG funds are direct investments in projects that positively impact communities by creating clean power, jobs and homes through the generation of federal and state tax credits. Monarch has facilitated investments in renewable projects abating over 32 million MT CO2e, which is equivalent to removing approximately seven million passenger cars from the road for one year.

Omnidian and McKinstry partnered for the project as well.

“Omnidian is proud to support climate action nationwide by protecting investments in clean energy and of our partnership with Unico Solar in guaranteeing the solar performance at Climate Pledge Arena,” said Mark Liffman, CEO and founder of Omnidian.

Climate Pledge Arena is the home of the Kraken, the four-time WNBA world champion Seattle Storm and over 80 live music and entertainment events throughout the year.

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