Bluenergy Stadium gets solar power boost



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Udinese Calcio with solar power project Image: Udinese Calcio

Udinese Calcio and Bluenergy Group have kicked off construction on a cutting-edge photovoltaic system to be fitted to the roof of the Serie A club’s stadium.

Over 2,400 state-of-the-art solar panels will help produce around 3,000 kWh/day, enabling Bluenergy Stadium in Friuli to become partially energy self-sufficient.

Bluenergy Stadium, formerly known as Stadio Friuli, is an all-seater football stadium in Udine, Italy, and the home of the Serie A club Udinese. The stadium was built in 1976 and has a capacity of 25,144. It was one of the venues for the 1990 World Cup.

The solar power project is part of further innovation for the sports facility which is already seen as a model of design, multi-functionality, safety and sustainability throughout Europe.

The new photovoltaic system is being developed by Bluenergy Group with the support of the Polytechnic University of Milan as energy advisor.

The collaboration focused on identifying the most suitable technology for energy self-sufficiency and analysis of the possibility of adopting other technologies and models to aid the energy transition, such as storage systems and energy communities.

A total of 2,409 solar panels will be built, covering a total surface area of 4,615 m2. The panels will be laid in two parallel sections across the entire stadium roof, integrating seamlessly with the stadium’s architectural design by Studio Casamonti.

The project team is also assessing the possibility of adding a 330kW battery storage park to ensure longer charge and discharge cycles and enhancing the potential of the new system.

This latest initiative will see Bluenergy and Udinese take a further step towards an increasingly sustainable management of the stadium, whose naming rights were recently acquired by the energy group owned by the Curti family.

Since becoming Udinese’s energy partner in 2018, Bluenergy has provided the club with energy solely from renewable sources, with a saving of 5,620 tonnes of CO2.

The aim of the club and its energy partner is to continue on the path of energy transition and eliminate all emissions. Udinese is working to this end as part of the European Club Association (ECA) Sustainability Working Group, drawing up a sustainability roadmap for European football clubs.

Udinese managing director Franco Collavino said, “Innovation and environmental awareness continue to play a central role in Udinese Calcio’s decision-making.

“This is another reason why we’re thrilled to make our stadium even greener, with the invaluable help of Bluenergy. We have been recognised as the most sustainable club in Italy and the fourth most sustainable in the world.

“This motivates both us and Bluenergy, one of the key players in Italy’s energy transition, to promote projects that give further momentum to this commitment. Football has an unparalleled presence in mass media and, in addition to our own responsibility to act in a moral way, we have a duty to spread messages that encourage fans to come together in the fight against climate change.”

The Bluenergy Stadium solar energy system, which is expected to come into operation by October 2024, is the latest example of Udinese Calcio’s commitment to sustainability, which has guided every decision relating to the stadium from its very conception.

Despite the greater costs, the club chose to build the new facility on the site of the previous one so as not to use additional land. Furthermore, part of the material produced from the demolition of the old stadium was reused.

Senior assistant professor at the Polytechnic University of Milan, Simone Franzo, said, “We’re pleased to have supported Bluenergy Group and Udinese Calcio with this important project.

“We hope it can lead the way in enabling further initiatives in the world of football and sport to support Italy’s energy transition. As part of this collaboration, we had the chance to discuss various opportunities sports clubs can take advantage of in the realm of energy transition, as well as the associated environmental and social benefits.”

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