Solar energy vying to be Super Bowl winner

As New Orleans prepares to host Super Bowl XLVII this weekend, NRG also will celebrate efforts to bring sustainable energy both to New Orleans and to football stadiums around the country.

NRG has partnered with a school in the Lower 9th Ward in New Orleans to showcase solar energy at this year’s Super Bowl. The company plans to kick off construction of a major solar photovoltaic installation at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Charter School for Science & Technology with a ribbon-cutting ceremony the day before the Super Bowl.

The celebration also will include a discussion panel about the merits of solar energy, and how projects can be scaled to serve buildings as large as stadiums, as well as schools and other smaller buildings.

NRG CEO David Crane, economist Jeffrey Sachs and New Orleans Quarterback Drew Brees all plan to speak at the panel discussion.

NRG is Texas’ second-largest power generator, and owns the power plants once operated by the former electric monopoly Houston Lighting & Power. It has plans to install solar panels at Reliant Stadium, home of the Houston Texans.

It also is working with the San Francisco 49ers, who are meeting the Baltimore Ravens in Sunday’s big game, to help make their new stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. energy sustainable.

The effort is part of NRG’s broader efforts to help stadiums around the country incorporate solar energy into their design as a way of becoming more sustainable.

The company recently announced planned installations at the FedEx Field, home of the Washington Redskins; the Lincoln Financial Field, home of the Philadelphia Eagles; the Cowboys Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys; the Patriot Place and Gillette Stadium, home of the New England Patriots; and the MetLife Stadium, home of the New York Jets and the New York Giants.