Alongside a new 2kWp solar panel, the tiles will capture player’s movement energy and power the pitch floodlights. Additionally, a layer of Astro Turf has been placed on a sheet of Glass Reinforced Plastic on top of the tiles to ensure the look and feel of a football pitch (Scroll down for video).

Footballing legend Pelé, who joined Shell to officially open the pitch, said: “Football is Brazil’s biggest passion and the sport has gone through so much technological innovation since the last time I played. This new pitch shows the extraordinary things possible when science and sport come together.

“The Morro da Mineira community will now be able to use this sports facility as a safe gathering place – all thanks to the floodlights powered by the community’s football players.”

New ideas

Football’s association with sustainability is growing all the time, with Belo Horizonte’s 2014 World Cup stadium being the first to run on solar power alone.

Shell Brazil’s country chair Andre Araujo said: “By 2050, the world will be using 75% more energy than it does now. Meeting that extra demand will require a set of energy sources – and a new generation of scientists and engineers with the passion, ideas and innovation to develop it.”

“The pitch proves the potential and power when scientists and entrepreneurs focus their efforts to develop creative and innovative energy solutions.”

Here in the UK, Southampton FC recently made their St Marys stadium the first LED-lit ground in Europe, slashing energy usage.

VIDEO: Solar powered football pitch

Brad Allen

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