Verizon Center aims to run partly on solar power

WASHINGTON — The Verizon Center hopes to operate using 25 percent solar power under a deal with WGL Energy Services.

Verizon Center owner Monumental Sports & Entertainment and WGL Energy Services, a subsidiary of Washington Gas parent company WGL Holdings Inc., signed a deal that will allow the Verizon Center to purchase power from a new solar facility in Maryland.

While not directly powered by on-site solar, the deal means solar electricity purchased by Monumental will be sourced from an off-site, third-party owned solar facility in Frederick, Maryland, and bundled with national solar renewable energy credits.

“Off-site renewable energy is one of the fastest-growing sectors within the energy industry,” said Louis Hutchinson III, vice president and chief revenue officer for WGL.

“As renewable energy offerings continue to mature, it’s exciting to see the sports industry play a major role in sourcing off-site renewable energy,” he said.

Starting late this year, the Verizon Center will get about 4.7 million kilowatt-hours per year of energy from 3.5 megawatts of the solar project. WGL and Monumental said the carbon emissions avoided from the annual solar energy use are equivalent to taking nearly 700 cars off the road for one year.

“Professional sports facilities, such as Verizon Center, consume incredible amounts of electricity, and switching to solar power can really reduce costs,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association.

“This highly innovative project is part of a trend being led by major corporations, which see a significant return on their investment, while improving air quality in communities across America.”

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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