Tonight’s NCAA football championship will see two SEC powerhouses battle it out for top bragging rights. And while everyone knows it’s going to be a great game, because UGA and Bama both have phenomenal teams this year, you might be surprised to learn about the solar power & sustainability initiatives going on at each school (and the championship venue).

University Of Georgia Bulldogs Saving With Solar In Athens

UGA has committed to purchasing 10 percent of energy from renewable sources and generating 10 percent consumed energy through on-site using renewable sources by 2020. Below is a look at some of their solar power projects currently providing clean energy throughout their campus in Athens.

UGA partnered with Georgia Power to install a 1 megawatt solar array next to the UGA Club Sports Complex on South Milledge Avenue. The project includes ground-mounted solar panels and solar tracking stations that periodically rotate to maximize electricity output.

The College of Environment and Design includes 72 solar panels on its roof, a source of clean, renewable power installed in a cool, modern design.

The rooftop solar power system generates approximately 30,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity over the course of the year. “That’s equivalent to 189 laptops operating all day every day,”according to Kevin Kirsche, director of sustainability at UGA’s Office of Sustainability.

A free-standing solar array with eight solar panels provides power to a farm building and electric vehicle charging station at the UGArden Teaching & Demonstration Farm. The project was designed by a team of UGA Engineering students and installed in 2013 through the UGA Campus Sustainability Grants program.

Projects like these provide research opportunities for students in the UGA College of Engineering, and put cutting-edge renewable energy technology on display for local residents and visiting sports fans alike.

Alabama Crimson Tide Researching Green Technologies In Tuscaloosa

The University of Alabama’s Office of Sustainability focuses on the importance of recycling, reducing consumption, and educating others on the importance of sustainability and sustainable solutions.

Solar panels at the University of Alabama’s Sewell-Thomas baseball stadium help power the facility and provide data for UA’s researchers.

A weather station and temperature monitors placed below the solar canopy allow engineering students to study and collect energy production data, giving them the opportunity to see in real time how solar photovoltaic technology works with the integration of lithium-ion batteries.

Visitors to the stadium can also see in real-time how much solar energy is being generated at informational kiosks.

Students from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Calhoun Community participated in the 2017 Solar Decathlon, a competition from the U.S. Department of Energy that challenges student teams to design and build full-size, solar-powered houses.

Inspired by the devastating impact of the 2011 tornado super outbreak on the region, the surviv(AL) House was designed as a model for sustainable, resilient housing for severe weather prone communities. The home’s innovative features include a mobile, robotic evaporative cooling system, water monitoring and purification, and of course a rooftop solar power system.

Recommended: View the Southern Current Solar Panel Installation Portfolio to see projects we’ve completed in your area

Mercedes-Benz Stadium Generating Solar Power In Atlanta

Mercedes-Benz Stadium incorporates the latest in sustainable advancements related to design, construction and operations. Over 4,000 solar PV panels are installed on the Mercedes-Benz Stadium site and GWCC campus, with electric vehicle charging stations located in various parking areas.

The solar project includes three separate arrays that are expected to generate approximately 1.6 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually.  

Solar panels were installed atop the Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC) Silver Deck, a GWCC surface parking lot at the corner of Gray Street and Ivan Allen Jr. Blvd., and above stadium entry gates and administrative/VIP parking.

These solar installations are among the largest and most advanced integrated solar facilities at any American sports venue.

Related Reading: Turn Your Roof Into A Profit Center With Solar Panels

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