France Begins Work on Solar-Powered Stadium

solar powered sports stadium bordeaux

Image Credit: Herzog & de Meuron

France has embarked upon a landmark renewable energy project with construction work officially commencing on a solar-powered stadium in the southwestern city of Bordeaux.

The Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux, situated on the banks of the Garonne River in the Bordeaux Lac region, is a large-scale sports facility with a designated audience capacity of up to 42,000 spectators.

While large-scale football stadiums are anything but innovative or unusual, the Bordeaux project will break new ground in Europe by deriving much of its power from solar photovoltaic installations.

The stadium’s car park will feature an extensive solar photovoltaic panel structure, which fulfil the dual function of sheltering vehicles from the elements and supplying electricity to the entire stadium.

In addition to its innovative renewable energy capabilities, the stadium is also set to be a landmark architectural work which will make a pivotal contribution to the aesthetic character of the city.

The Swiss firm enlisted to work on the project, Herzog & de Meuron, is responsible for a number of world-renowned architectural projects, including Beijing’s “bird’s nest” National Stadium, which was one of the defining emblems of the 2008 Olympics.

solar powered sports stadium bordeaux

Solar Powered Sports Stadium, Bordeaux France. Image Source: Crave Australia via Inhabitat

The stadium is slated for completion in 2015 and will serve as host for one of the 2016 European Football Championship matches held by the Union of European Football Association.

Stadiums and sporting facilities have just recently started to leap on board the green building wagon and adopt energy efficiency measures.

In 2009, Kaohsiung National Stadium in Taiwan became the first sporting facility of its type in the world to derive 100 per cent of its energy from solar power. The 55,000 capacity stadium was designed by Japanese architect Toyo Ito and built for the 2009 World Games. Ito designed the stadium to incorporate 8,844 solar panels on its roofs, which provide sufficient electricity to power the facility’s 3,300 lights and two giant television screens.

The stadium’s vast array of rooftop solar panels actually generate a surplus of energy, which the Taiwanese government can feed back into the grid to reap greater profits and diminish reliance on electricity generated by conventional fossil fuel power plants.

By Marc Howe
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