A significant new solar energy project had the flip of the switch today in what might be considered an unlikely place – a NASCAR racetrack in Long Pond, PA.
A 3 megawatt ground-mount photovoltaic solar energy system at Pocono Raceway is completely in step with the sport taking major strides to preserve the environment. The 25-acre solar installation, located adjacent to the 2.5-mile race track, is so large it’s visible from outer space. With its 40,000 photovoltaic modules drawing energy from the sun, it will become the primary electric energy source for the race track while adding electricity to the local power grid.
The Pocono Raceway Solar Project, developed by enXco, and owned by Pocono Raceway, is located along Long Pond Road adjacent to the raceway on land that previously served fan parking needs but is no longer used due to a reconfiguration of other parking lots on the property.
The installation consists of nearly 40,000 American made photovoltaic modules that will produce more than 72 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy over the next 20 years. The environmental attributes associated with the system will offset more than 3,100 Metric Tons of carbon dioxide annually and will generate enough power to provide the electricity needs for over 1,000 homes beyond the power needs of Pocono Raceway.
NASCAR fans have strong feelings about individual and corporate responsibility in caring for the environment. These fans have become more engaged in environmentally-minded activities, such as recycling and using energy efficient light bulbs, according to the most recent independent research (Experian Simmons National Consumer Survey):
- Green is important to NASCAR fans: 3 of 4 NASCAR fans (77%) believe each of us has a personal obligation to do what we can to be environmentally responsible compared to 75% of the overall U.S. population.
- Green companies are recognized by NASCAR fans: 2 of 3 NASCAR fans (65%) indicate companies should help consumers become more environmentally responsible compared to 64% of the overall U.S. population.
- NASCAR fans exhibit “green behavior” in their everyday lives: More than 80% of NASCAR fan households recycle, up +12% over the past 5 years.
- Green products are increasingly used by NASCAR fans: Approximately 40% of NASCAR fan households use energy efficient light bulbs, more than double the amount just 5 years ago.