"People don't yet see [solar] as a normal thing," says Mark Jacobson, director of the Atmosphere/Energy program at Stanford University in Stanford, Calif. "But if they see more examples of it, they aren't going to feel weird" about using solar power for their own homes.
That's the hope, anyway.
For pro sports complexes, solar energy and other clean power sources are quickly becoming the norm. Last September, the Washington Redskins franchise installed a two-megawatt solar array at FedEx Field, involving 8,000 solar modules that double as canopies in the stadium's parking lots. The setup provides an estimated 20 percent of the complex's power on game days, according to NRG Solutions, a New Jersey-based energy company that engineered the solar installations at FedEx Field, Patriot Place, and several other pro sports facilities.
In Seattle, now-bankrupt solar company Solyndra installed a 2.5-acre solar array on the roof of the Seahawks' Qwest Field event center. In Philadelphia, plans are well under way to make Eagles home turf Lincoln Financial Field the greenest of them all, with the addition of 11,000 solar panels and 14 wind turbines.