POCONO, Pa.--()--As the country begins to aggressively seek alternative energy sources, a significant new solar energy project is ready to flip the switch in what might be considered an unlikely place – a NASCAR racetrack in Long Pond, PA.
“We are proud to partner with Pocono Raceway to develop the largest renewable energy stadium project in the world by more than two times”
Yet, considering the major sustainability programs being initiated throughout the NASCAR industry, the 3 megawatt ground-mount photovoltaic solar energy system at Pocono Raceway is completely in step with a sport taking major strides to preserve the environment.
The 25-acre solar installation, located adjacent to the 2.5-mile race track, is so large it’s visible from outer space. With its 40,000 photovoltaic modules drawing energy from the sun, it will become the primary electric energy source for the race track while adding electricity to the local power grid.
“This is an important milestone for Pocono Raceway and our sport,” said Brandon Igdalsky, President of Pocono Raceway. “Pocono Raceway strongly believes in the NASCAR industry’s commitment to operate in a more environmentally responsible way and is proud to be the first race track to power our sport with clean, renewable sunlight as the world’s largest solar-powered sports facility. This solar power system, built with timber, steel and solar panels made in the U.S., satisfies all our Raceway’s energy needs, while helping to power local homes. This project demonstrates real sustainability and proves that any business that truly wants to go green can do it.”
“NASCAR is committed to becoming a leader in environmental responsibility by reducing our impact and serving as a testing ground for innovative new approaches for sustainability,” said Brian France, Chairman and CEO of NASCAR. “This meaningful green project reflects the NASCAR industry’s collaborative approach to preserving the environment and highlights Pocono Raceway’s significant contribution as the first major U.S. sports venue to go green with 100% renewable energy. We encourage other tracks and sponsors to follow this lead in making sustainable programs and renewable energy a continued priority for the sport.”
The Pocono Raceway Solar Project, developed by enXco, and owned by Pocono Raceway, host of two annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series summer events, is located along Long Pond Road adjacent to the storied raceway on land that previously served fan parking needs but is no longer used due to a reconfiguration of other parking lots on the property.
The installation consists of nearly 40,000 American made photovoltaic modules that will produce more than 72 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy over the next 20 years. The environmental attributes associated with the system will offset more than 3,100 Metric Tons of carbon dioxide annually and will generate enough power to provide the electricity needs for over 1,000 homes beyond the power needs of Pocono Raceway.
Amid the recent push to find alternative energy sources, the benefits of solar power have been tested and proven time and again. It is virtually silent, produces zero emissions and is the most readily available energy source on Earth.
“We are proud to partner with Pocono Raceway to develop the largest renewable energy stadium project in the world by more than two times,” said Peter Solomon, Director, Solar Origination at enXco. “The Pocono Raceway Solar Project marks the first project for enXco in Pennsylvania and also our first turnkey solar project. We recognize the dedicated efforts of NASCAR to become more sustainable and we look forward to helping other tracks to follow Pocono’s leadership to reduce their carbon footprint through the generation of solar energy.”
NASCAR fans have strong feelings about individual and corporate responsibility in caring for the environment. These fans have become more engaged in environmentally-minded activities, such as recycling and using energy efficient light bulbs, according to the most recent independent research (Experian Simmons National Consumer Survey):
An official dedication ceremony will take place today at 11:00am today at the solar site along Long Pond Road across from Gate 3 with special guests along with local officials and representatives from Pocono Raceway, enXco and NASCAR. Photos and audio will be available at NASCARMedia.com.
About Pocono Raceway
“The Tricky Triangle” is host to two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards races each year and has added a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race in 2010. Pocono Raceway’s 2.5-mile triangular design makes it truly unique. Pocono is the only track on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Circuit with three turns, three different radii and three variant degrees of banking. All that ensures our fans will enjoy some serious action, meanwhile presenting a competitive challenge to the world’s best drivers and their crew chiefs. Pocono strives to create a family atmosphere with increased focus on the Fan Experience. We are Pocono Raceway and this is “The Tricky Triangle.”
In business for over 50 years, Pocono Raceway is family-owned and situated in the beautiful Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. We are located within 300 miles of one-third of the US population and within 90 miles of New York City and Philadelphia. Pocono Raceway is and always will be an attractive option for NASCAR and race fans alike.
About enXco, an EDF Energies Nouvelles Company:
enXco (www.enxco.com) - an EDF Energies Nouvelles Company (www.edf-energies-nouvelles.com) - develops, constructs, owns, operates and manages renewable energy projects throughout the United States. For more than two decades, we have been a leader in wind-energy focusing on large-scale wind projects. Today enXco’s portfolio includes solar and biomass technologies, in an effort to help drive our nation’s transition to a sustainable energy economy. enXco is a significant owner and developer of wind-energy installations in the United States, and is the leading third-party operations & maintenance provider for wind farms in North America.
About NASCAR and the Environment
NASCAR and its partners and key stakeholders are committed to improving the communities in which the sport operates, mitigating the sport’s environmental impact, piloting new green technologies, and sharing conservation messages with fans. The sanctioning body is now leading an industry-wide initiative to reduce its environmental impact, while providing a proving ground for new green technologies. With the input of environmental experts and motorsports industry constituents to ensure the inclusion of all perspectives, NASCAR is implementing initiatives on and off the racetrack that demonstrate a dedication to protecting the environment, including the largest recycling program in sports. Drivers, teams, and track operators are working diligently on the issue of recycling, land conservation, and adopting alternative energy sources. Sponsors such as Coca-Cola, Coors, Goodyear, Office Depot, Safety-Kleen, Sprint and UPS are setting benchmarks for their dedication to keeping green.