Manchester City eyes huge onsite solar project

Premier League club Manchester City has requested planning permission to install almost 11,000 solar panels at its Football Academy and the stadium it uses to host women’s matches.

Manchester City eyes huge onsite solar project

Pictured: An artist's impression of the solar project. Image: Manchester City FC

The club announced late last week that it had filed a planning application for the solar project, which would generate up to 4.39MWh of renewable electricity each year, with Manchester City Council.

It is seeking to install around 3,800 panels on frames over footpaths and pitch-side areas at the City Football Academy and a further 3,000 on the roof of the Joie Stadium, which is home to Manchester City Women.

Additionally, the club wants to site a further 3,942 panels on the roofs of other buildings at the site in East Manchester.

City Football Academy is already certified as LEED Gold. LEED is the world’s most widely-used rating for green buildings and covers topics such as energy efficiency, water efficiency, access to low-emission transport networks, biodiversity impact and integration into local communities.

Manchester City has sought out a local renewable energy developer, Clearvolt, to help deliver the project once planning permission is secured. The club is hoping to have all solar panels fully operational by the end of this year, subject to a smooth planning process.

Manchester City’s director of sustainability Pete Bradshaw said the project would make the club “one of football’s largest producers of self-supplied renewable energy”. He added that the production and consumption of renewable electricity “has an incredibly important role to play” in the club’s transition to net-zero operational carbon emissions by 2030.

Other clubs to have added onsite solar in recent years include Arsenal, Plymouth Argyle, Ajax and Galatasaray.

Fan engagement

In other football sustainability news, Arsenal FC has launched a new three-week fan engagement scheme, whereby fans can compete to take the most actions to reduce their environmental footprint.

Called the ‘Green Gooners Cup’, the initiative is being hosted in partnership with packaging giant Ball Corporation and the Planet League fan engagement platform.

Fans will be able to score points by logging actions such as litter picking, recycling at home, ditching their cars for short journeys, and switching from plastic drinks bottles and single-use coffee cups to recyclable cans or reusable options.

The person who scores the most points will be awarded with a fully paid-for matchday experience including box seats, pitch-side access and a meeting with their favorite player from the men’s first team.

Arsenal FC’s chief commercial officer Juliet Slot said: “It’s great to work so closely with our partner, Ball Corporation, and Planet League to inspire our supporters to drive even more positive action across our local and global communities.”

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