Pocono Raceway is powering up to be the first solar powered sporting facility in the country. The Mattioli family, owners of the race track, as well as local dignitaries broke ground on July 31 for their new "Go Green" initiative.
The Raceway plans to instal a three megawatt solar farm. This new endeavor will ultimately provide power for the entire race track, as well as supplying power to the local energy grid.
The new solar farm will be constructed in a former race track parking lot along Long Pond Road. The project will include a 3.0 MW photovoltaic array on approximately 25 acres of land.
The new solar farm will consist of approximately 40,000 photovoltaic modules. The Mattioli family confirms that the project should be completed by the spring of 2010.
Other partners with Pocono Raceway in this innovative green effort includes enXco, Evolution Energies and NASCAR itself, the latter of whom is sponsoring a Green Innovation program for the sanctioning body.
Doc Mattioli, patriarch of the Pocono Raceway, headlined the groundbreaking event. He wanted to go green to "show that auto racing can hold its own" in these types of initiatives.
Brandon Igdalsky, Track President said, "This new system will not only satisfy the Raceway's energy needs, it will allow us to help power close to one thousand homes and lower carbon dioxide emissions by 5,100 tons every year."
"We are excited by the opportunity to partner with Pocono Raceway whose foresight to engage in the development of the world's largest sports facility solar system is to be recognized and applauded," said Tristan Grimbert, President & CEO of enXco.
Christopher Moffatt, co-founder of Evolution Energies, said "We are very proud to work with Pocono Raceway on the development of the three megawatt solar project."
Moffatt continued, "The Solar Farm is an important step in developing renewable energy sources not only for the local Pocono community, but for Pennsylvania and the rest of the United States."
NASCAR also weighed in on Pocono Raceway's newest power initiative. "It's going to be an awesome achievement, setting a high bar for all facilities throughout sports," said Dr. Mike Lynch, Managing Director of Green Innovation at NASCAR.
While many buildings throughout the country can boast of their "green" certification, Pocono Raceway is the only race track that can make this claim at present. This will make the track the first truly "green" sports facility in the world.
Pocono Raceway is the site of this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup race festivities. The soon-to-be green "Tricky Triangle" hosts two ARCA and Sprint Cup races each season.
For more information about Pocono Raceway, visit their website at poconoraceway.com.
Photo Credit: Mary Jo Buchanan