Solar Panels - Real Salt Lake - Rio Tinto Stadium

Back in April, Real Salt Lake said they were installing nearly 6,500 solar panels at Rio Tinto Stadium.

On Thursday, the array got unveiled.

RSL owner Dell Loy Hansen was joined by the region's business and political leaders in flipping the switch to activate the largest solar array in the State of Utah, in partnership with Auric Solar and Rocky Mountain Power.

Rio Tinto Stadium's 2,020-kilowatt system of solar panels installed on the existing stadium structure as well as new covered parking areas nearby are now operational to offset 73 percent of Real Salt Lake's total annual stadium power needs. It's the largest offset among North American professional sports and entertainment venues. The ambitious project was initiated back in April, took six months to complete and includes enough solar panels to cover a soccer field.

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"We have partnered with both Rocky Mountain Power and Auric Solar to increase our power efficiency while hosting more than 50 massive events each year in Sandy," said Hansen in a release, whose venue hosts both the United States and Mexico on Saturday and Tuesday in the Semifinals and Finals for CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying.

"The new solar covered parking structures have improved the quality of parking options for our nearly 16,000+ season ticket holders and provide our State and the surrounding environment with the largest solar energy offset for any U.S. professional sports venue."

The environmental impact of the new solar array carries the carbon-dioxide reduction equivalent of removing 450 cars from the road or planting 47,278 trees annually, while providing enough power to light and heat 284 homes for a calendar year.