The NFL Is More Powerful Than You Think

As football season rolls on, I wanted to highlight a bright spot in the NFL this year that really hasn't gotten much attention: how solar power is charging stadiums in droves. I have a big passion for energy and football, so in this piece I wanted to highlight how NRG Energy (NYSE: NRG  ) is bringing renewable energy to football stadiums around the country. 

NRG is giving touchdown a new meaning by helping teams in the NFL go green -- and that has nothing to do with uniforms. For instance, thanks to NRG, the Philadelphia Eagles have the largest solar panel system in the NFL with 11,000 PV cells and power from 14 wind micro-turbines. 

Not to be outdone by a division rival, the Washington Redskins have over 8,000 solar panels powering FedEx Field because of NRG. The New York Giants and my erratic New York Jets play in MetLife Stadium, which is powered by what is known as the Solar Ring with 1,500 solar panels both operated and managed by NRG.

Moving out west, the new Levi's Stadium, future home of the San Francisco 49ers, will see its tenants play under the lights coming from 1,162 solar panels provided by NRG. The team could actually be a net zero energy user during the regular season, according to team management. 

In this piece we also highlight some other great achievements within the NFL that are not NRG specific. For instance, Soldier Field, home of the Chicago Bears, was the first North American stadium to received LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Then there's the Seattle Seahawks, who play in CenturyLink Field and have 3,750 thin-film PV solar cells from the now bankrupt Solyndra.

Finally, hats off to the Cleveland Browns for tapping Emerson Electric's  (NYSE: EMR  ) InSinkErator for a new food-to-energy system. Interesting that the Browns play in FirstEnergy (NYSE: FE  ) Stadium, which is largely reliant on fossil fuels but increasingly growing its own presence in renewables.  

To learn more, tune into last week's video where Fool Analyst Taylor Muckerman and Fool Contributor John Licata discuss the implications of solar power in the NFL. 

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