In an effort to extend their commitment to environmental stewardship, the Sacramento Kings and Golden 1 Center – the world’s greenest and most technologically advanced arena – will operate on an amount of electricity equivalent to that generated by its specially designed 700kW solar array installed on its roof for ten days this summer.
The “Solar Days” initiative began Earth Day weekend as individuals and companies around the world reflect on the impact they have on the environment. During select days, the arena will minimize its energy needs and utilize the facility’s innovative passive cooling system by opening the five, massive hangar doors above the Grand Entrance as adjusting ambient arena temperatures to 77 degrees, relying more on natural lighting, and reducing additional electrical loads. Additional staff and vendor training will be implemented to help drive environmental awareness as team members enact conservation procedures.
“We believe sports teams have an opportunity and the responsibility to drive meaningful change in their communities by showing how innovative thought and leadership can create progress,” said Vivek Ranadivé, Owner and Chairman of the Sacramento Kings. “Our hope is that basketball fans, Sacramento businesses, and communities around the world will be inspired by this to reduce their own environmental footprint in a meaningful way.”
Golden 1 Center is the world’s first arena to be 100-percent solar powered – 365 days a year – and achieve the US Green Building Council’s prestigious LEED Platinum designation. With team partner SMUD, 85 percent of Golden 1 Center’s energy needs are supported by a 10.88-megawatt solar farm located 40 miles away from the arena, harnessing the 300-plus days of sunshine in the region.
By using only an amount of energy over 24 hours equivalent to that generated by their rooftop solar array over the same period, the solar electricity from the SMUD solar farm that would normally be used to serve Golden 1 Center is available to support the region’s power demands. Through the “Solar Days” initiative and additional energy conservation measures, an estimated 19,600 kWh of energy will become available to other users through the grid each Solar Day – enough to power over 600 homes that day based on average summer energy consumption, and a reduction in GHG in over 8,000 lbs. of CO2e emissions.
Since the Sacramento Kings opened Golden 1 Center in 2016 – as the first LEED Platinum facility – other pro teams have followed suit and have taken measures to become more sustainable. For instance, Yankee Stadium saves nearly as much energy each day as 125 New York City apartments shutting off their air-conditioning for a summer day. The new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta followed Sacramento’s path as the second LEED Platinum pro sport certified sports venue in North America, features 4,000 solar panels on the roof and a unique 1.1 million gallon water storage system to recapture rainwater for landscape irrigation and the cooling towers.
Several Golden 1 Center innovations created a foundation for environmental awareness. An unmatched food program sources 90 percent of the venue’s ingredients within 150 miles of the venue, focusing on high-quality food and providing healthy selections, all while reducing the team’s carbon footprint by eliminating vehicle miles traveled. To close the food cycle, Golden 1 Center has partnered with local food banks to distribute unserved food items to the community and with a local, innovative organics program that develops fertilizers for the network of farms that serve the arena.
For more information about the Sacramento Kings commitment to sustainability, read Vivek Ranadivé’s commentary in the Sports Business Journal or visit Golden1Center.com.