Solar-powered Golden 1 Center could fuel the grid

New Sacramento Kings arena to divert annual tonnages of greenhouse-gas emissions

All you arena-subsidy haters out there can at least take solace in the upcoming Golden 1 Center’s green-energy credentials.

Speaking to SN&R last week, experts at the Sacramento Metropolitan Utilities District praised the future Kings home’s commitment to renewable energy.

A quick rundown: G1C will be certified LEED gold, complete with LED lighting, advanced energy controls and rooftop solar. Nearly 90 percent of the energy used to operate the arena will be solar—from SMUD’s soon-to-be-finished farm near Rancho Seco—and the remaining 10 percent will come from rooftop solar panels. This will keep more than 2,000 tons of greenhouse-gas emissions out of the atmosphere annually.

“That’s equivalent from the emissions generated by over 4 million vehicle miles,” explained SMUD’s Greg Hribar. As far as he knows, G1C will be one of the first new arena constructions in the country to be built with entirely LED lighting and to use 100 percent renewables.

The arena also has the capacity to put solar power back onto the grid, via a secure connection to SMUD’s 21 kilovolt downtown infrastructure. “The Kings arena actually has two redundant feeds, so we never had the New Orleans type shutdown,” said SMUD’s Mike Wirsch, referring to the snafu during the 49ers Super Bowl a few years back.

If only solar energy could power the Kings to a winning season.