Football teams, basketball teams and more have been putting solar panels up to power their stadiums. But not all have done so yet, of course…. Now, there’s a big push, created by the Ann Arbor-based Ecology Center, to get the University of Michigan to put solar power on its stadium, the largest football stadium in North America.
“The UM stadium has the potential to be the largest athletic venue in North America with solar panels, which is fitting with the University’s claim to be ‘the leaders and the best’,” said Monica Patel, policy specialist at the Ecology Center. “Even though the electricity generated won’t solve the climate crisis, it will go a long way in terms of solar energy education — just think of the awareness raised among the 100,000+ fans there on Game Day, and millions of others who tune in. The move would also give real support to Michigan’s growing solar energy industry.”
The Ecology Center has teamed up with Change.org and has a petition with over 3,000 signatures on the site now.
The petition targets University President Mary Sue Coleman, Athletic Director David Brandon, and Director of Campus Sustainability Initiatives Terry Alexander and, aside from collecting signatures online, activists will be collecting signatures at the stadium this year as well.
Here’s more from Change.org:
“What these activists have accomplished is really impressive,” said Jess Leber, a senior organizer for Change.org, the world’s fastest-growing platform for social change. “In just a few weeks, the Ecology Center has inspired thousands of University of Michigan community members to make their voices heard on solar energy. Change.org is about empowering anyone, anywhere to demand action on the issues that matter to them, and it has been incredible to watch the Ecology Center’s campaign take off.”
In 2009, University of Michigan students completed a feasibility assessment of a stadium solar project, estimating that an installation could divert 776 tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The Ecology Center’s campaign is asking University officials to move beyond feasibility assessments by engaging with Michigan’s solar manufacturers and developing a project to offset some of the stadium’s electricity use and feed it back into the grid during times when the stadium isn’t used.
Nice. Good luck to the Ecology Center and the University of Michigan (solar power is a win-win-win)! And I hope we see much more like this in the months and years to come.
Of course, I encourage you to sign the petition (also above) today!