Safeco Field solar panels producing despite dreary weather
With the first day of summer, and this week’s sunny days, it seemed a good time to check how the solar panels installed on the skybridge to the Safeco Field garage have been doing during our otherwise dreary June.
A dashboard that keeps track of the power being generated provided the answer.
The solar panels, manufactured by SANYO/Panasonic, are double sided so they can pick up reflected energy as well as direct light. That helps them produce even on cloudy days. On Saturday, an overcast day, the panels produced 82kWh. On Monday, when it was rainy, the panels still produced 85kWh. Wednesday, a lovely, sunny day in Seattle, resulted in production of 204kWh or power.
Since early April, the panels have generated a total of 10.04 mWh of power. To put that into context, that’s enough energy to power 3,313.2 homes for one hour.
What else does that mean? Since the power is being generated in a carbon-neutral way, there are calculations on the website that suggest the clean energy output has off-set production of 14,322 pounds of CO2. It’s also equal to having planted 868 trees or saving 729 gallons of gas.
Not a huge amount, but the panels themselves are only expected to generate 40,000 kWh during an entire year. (The energy gets channeled into the Safeco Field power grid and helps offset the electricity used to operate the ballpark and garage.)
The project is part of the Seattle Mariners ongoing commitment to sustainability that includes electric vehicle charging stations, high-efficiency lighting and other conservation and eco-friendly measures.