The new-look Maracana Stadium is set to become one of the world’s most sustainable venues with the announcement that it will be powered by solar energy for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
The move has been made possible through a partnership between World Cup sponsor Yingli Solar, Light ESCO, EDF Consultoria and the State of Rio de Janeiro. Over 1,500 Yingli Solar PV modules will be placed on a metal ring that will encircle the top of the stadium. The strategic placing of the panels aims to provide a strong visual reminder of the importance of the environment to the 2014 World Cup.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to supply the most recognisable stadium in Brazil, and to work with two of the pre-eminent leaders of electricity generation and solar power in the country,” said Liangsheng Miao, chairman and CEO of Yingli Green Energy. “Brazil is an important emerging market for Yingli, and we will continue to grow our presence here as the country’s solar energy potential blossoms.”
Originally built for Brazil’s staging of the 1950 World Cup, the Maracana will host seven games during the 2014 edition of the event – more than any other venue. Along with being the focal point of Brazil’s 2014 World Cup, the new Maracana will also play a key role for Rio de Janeiro’s hosting of the 2016 Olympics, staging football during the Games. The US$595 million redevelopment project will see a new stadium formed within the shell of the original epic facility. The old Maracana sealed its place in football history by regularly playing host to crowds in excess of 150,000, but the new venue will be scaled back to an 80,000 capacity.
“Sustainability is one of the key tenets in our vision for the 2014 FIFA World Cup,” added Federico Addiechi, head of corporate social responsibility at FIFA. “We hope this landmark project will be the catalyst to spur other football stadiums to install solar PV systems across Brazil, serving to increase the production and use of renewable power in the country.”