Thriving at the intersection of innovation and eco-consciousness, NASCAR is making bold efforts to lessen its carbon footprint. In the hopes of promoting clean, eco-friendly alternatives, this premier stock car racing league launched NASCAR Green. Under this initiative, NASCAR seeks to design more energy-efficient cars, develop resource-efficient tracks, and run cars on ethanol fuel. Since its inception in 2008, NASCAR Green has made tremendous strides on these environmental fronts. Inspired by these changes, six of NASCAR’s major raceways have followed suit, embracing the power of solar energy to foster sustainability.
This California-based raceway has reaped the benefits of solar power since 2011. Stretching between Turn 10 and a section of the grandstands lies 353 kW of solar installations. Currently, 41 percent of the track is powered by solar energy. Overseen by Panasonic Enterprise Solutions, these eco-conscious additions bode well for reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
Located in Charlotte, North Carolina, Charlotte Motor Speedway transformed its Turn 4 Sun Deck into an energy-saving platform in 2017. Thanks to Renu Energy Solutions, 247 kW of solar energy enclose the deck, providing shade to fans and renewable energy to Mother Earth. With this conversion, 773 photovoltaic modules now turn light into electricity.
A beloved addition to Florida’s NASCAR scene, Daytona International Speedway switched to solar power in 2016. With help from Florida Power & Light, this racetrack oversaw a 2.1 MW solar project. Smart grid technologies were essential in bringing this project to life. Behind the entrance is one grid, and the other is situated behind the grandstands. Together, these cutting-edge implementations have enhanced the speedway’s integration of solar energy.
Much like Daytona International Speedway, Indianapolis Motor Speedway undertook a solar farm operation. As a result, over 39,000 panels were introduced to the raceway. When this 9 MW project was carried out in 2014, four industry giants handled the developments. Swinerton Renewable Energy built the system, Indianapolis Power & Light Company sought ownership of the renewable energy credits, and SunWize Technologies and Blue Renewable Energy worked in tandem to develop the project.
Also known as The Tricky Triangle, Pocono Raceway made a significant impact on Long Pond’s solar energy use in 2010. With over 40,000 solar panels installed, this 3 MW solar station falls between the second and third turns. EDF Renewables expertly executed the project, giving rise to naturally replenished sources. In addition to EDF Renewables, sheep were also employed to help manage vegetation levels.
In 2022, Watkins Glen International is expected to break records with its 50 MW solar farm. The project has been underway since 2019, and NextExtra Energy Resources is leading these efforts. When the Watkins Glen Solar Energy Center is complete, New York will be home to the largest solar farm at any sporting facility. Similar to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, this solar farm is being built adjacent to the track.