49ers' New Stadium Goes Solar to Save Energy

"Net Zero" status, thanks to panels

Forty-nine panels.

It's almost too good to be true, but the new 49ers stadium used 49 solar panels (big ones) to reach phase one of "net zero" status. That means, during the regular season home games, the entire stadium will not use a drop of power that doesn't come from the sun.

That stat comes to us from NRG, the company that did the heavy lifting to put the panels on the stadium roof. The panels themselves come from San Jose-based SunPower, which has been on a roll lately, turning out panels and pleasing investors (SPWR) with a high-flying share price.

49ers President Gideon Yu says going solar was one of the main goals for the new stadium; he says energy efficiency is "as important to a Bay Area stadium as technology and good food."

For its part, NRG bought into the tech part of it all, even putting GoPro cameras on the panels as they raised them to the stadium roof.

Look for lots of focus on the energy efficiency out at Levi's Stadium, especially during the Super Bowl.

Along with all the WiFi in the place, the solar power definitely gives the team's new digs a Bay Area/Silicon Valley feel.

Scott is on Twitter: @scottbudman

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