By - Zach Freysinger

Utilities Partnering with the NFL for a Greener Future

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Clean Energy and the Super Bowl: A Great Business Partnership

With the Super Bowl less than a week away, it is interesting to consider where the energy comes from to power such an event. Salt River Project (SRP), a major electricity provider for the Phoenix metro area, announced their sponsorship of the game on January 13th. It was disclosed during this press release that the power provided by SRP would be from 100% renewable sources. Tom Cooper, SRP Director of Resource Planning and Development, said, “Providing green energy to the game is the perfect opportunity to showcase SRP’s commitment to renewable energy.” Originally estimated to cost $200,000, SRP was able to cut the cost to $50,000 through using renewable energy.

The increased awareness for SRP’s renewable energy portfolio isn’t the only benefit the utility is anticipating. The inflow of people to the Phoenix area is expected to bring in $300,000 in electricity sales. This would even out the cost of sponsoring the game.

Super Bowl XLIX, Not the First to Go Green

SRP is not the first utility to reach such an agreement with the NFL. Last year, PSEG, a major utility in New Jersey, and the NFL came to terms on a deal that saw every bit of electricity used during the big game be offset by renewable energy credits. In return for purchasing the credits, PSEG was allotted advertising space at Metlife Stadium and other NFL Sponsored Super Bowl events. Once again, the utility sponsor viewed the agreement as a great way to showcase their renewable energy resources. Joseph Roenbeck, green-products energy trader for PSEG, said, “We’re working to be more green, and when the NFL came knocking to discuss doing this, it seemed like a perfect fit. If you get a number of initiatives like this, in the long run it could help stimulate more renewable-energy construction because it increases demand for green energy.” Ralph LaRossa, President and COO of PSEG, saw the partnership as an opportunity to demonstrate the solar prowess of not only PSEG but the state of New Jersey as a whole. He said, “Now we’re going to be able to show them we’ve got solar farms on top of old landfills and get the message out to the rest of the country about how far in the lead New Jersey is with renewable solar energy”.

Clean Energy Not Unique to the Super Bowl

While the Super Bowl is a great avenue to exhibit the renewable energy portfolio of power providers, individual teams across the NFL have been going green for a number of years. NRG Energy, based out of New Jersey, has signed deals to become the official energy sponsor of many of the NFL’s teams. Take, for example, Levi’s Stadium home of the 49ers. NRG’s partnership with the team allowed the company to install solar elements throughout the stadium. The company in return has been able to place their logo throughout the stadium. The Philadelphia Eagles have signed a 20-year sponsorship with NRG. With this sponsorship, the company has installed 11,000+ solar panels and a row of wind turbines to generate all the power needed to fuel Lincoln Financial Field during games. In return for such a large partnership, NRG is able to advertise their residential services on the Eagles website and during home games.

The Future of Clean Energy and the NFL

With more and more focus on being put on companies to go green, it only makes sense for the NFL to continue to promote and encourage their teams to pursue renewable energy resources to power their stadiums and events. The benefits far outweigh the costs of doing so. For utilities and power generation companies, these sponsorship opportunities are a great way to create brand awareness for little cost.

Interested in clean power? Join us for our 4th Annual Southeast Clean Power Summit taking place March 30-31, 2015 in Atlanta, GA. Information can be found at: http://www.euci.com/events/?ci=2561

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