Real Salt Lake will soon be adding some green to the sea of claret and cobalt at Rio Tinto Stadium, with the club announcing earlier this month that they will install nearly 6,500 solar panels at their Sandy, Utah facility.
The 2,020-kilowatt system of solar panels will be installed on existing stadium structures as well as on new covered parking areas located on stadium property. The solar array will offset 73 percent of Real Salt Lake’s total annual stadium power needs – the largest offset in North American professional sports.
The system, which will be built and installed by Utah-based Auric Solar, is expected to be fully operational by October 2015. The environmental impact will be huge, with the club stating in a release that the solar array carries the equivalent of removing 450 cars from the road or planting 47,278 trees annually.
The system will be the largest solar array in Major League Soccer, more than twice the size of the New England Revolution’s 1,000-kilowatt array at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. It is the latest addition to RSL’s technological war chest – the club installed MLS’s largest video board this offseason, only for the LA Galaxy to announce shortly after that they are constructing an even bigger board.