Rio Tinto Stadium solar array to lead MLS

Rio Tinto Stadium

Your Earth Day news: A Rio Tinto Stadium solar array will be the largest in MLS and the largest privately owned solar system in Utah, providing 73 percent of Real Salt Lake’s total annual stadium power needs — the largest offset in North American professional sports.

Auric Solar (Midvale, Utah) is overseeing the installation of a 2,020-kilowatt system of solar panels installed on existing stadium structure, as well as new covered parking areas nearby. The installation will take six months and should be finished and operational in October 2015.

“We are partnering with Auric Solar to increase our power efficiency while hosting more than 50 massive events each year in Sandy,” said RSL and Real Monarchs Owner Dell Loy Hansen. “The new solar covered parking structures will improve the quality of parking options for our 15,000+ season ticket holders and provide our state and the surrounding environment with the largest solar energy offset for any U.S. professional sports venue.”

“This project will put Real Salt Lake at the forefront of energy production in all of professional sports,” said Jess Phillips, principal of Auric Solar. “Auric Solar is helping the club harness the power of the sun to reduce its power consumption on a grand scale. It is impressive and ambitious to see the organization’s commitment to the community and environment.”

Nearly 95 percent of the solar array (made up of 6,414 solar panels) will be installed on new solar-covered parking structures, including an entirely new parking lot on the north side of the stadium.

“Auric Solar’s expertise make them the perfect partners to make Rio Tinto Stadium energy self-sufficient, while also improving the fan experience with the addition of covered and lit parking,” said Andy Carroll, Vice President of Corporate Partnerships for RSL. “Our unique ability to assist Auric Solar in building brand awareness, both locally and across the industry, makes this partnership fully-integrated, mutually-beneficial, and uniquely symbiotic. The entire Auric team — led by founders Trent Vansice and Jess Phillips — consists of great people, providing all of the ingredients for an exceptional long-term partnership.”

The array will be the fourth-largest in all of professional sports, trailing Indianapolis Motor Speedway (9,000 kW), Lincoln Financial Field (3,000 kW) and Pocono Raceway (3,000 kW).

Image of Rio Tinto Stadium by Jeremy Piehler via

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August Publications