The world’s first completely solar-powered stadium, located in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, is set to be completed in time for July’s World Games. The massive stadium has a 14,155 square meter roof area–every inch of which is covered in solar panels. When completed, the stadium’s 8,844 solar panels are expected to produce 1.14GWh of electricity each year. That’s enough to power the structure’s 3,300 lights, two huge TV screens, and maybe even sell extra electricity back to the grid.
Architect Toyo Ito designed the stadium with Feng Shui in mind, which is why the steel structure resembles a horseshoe. The structure’s layout ensures that fans are in the shade for most of the day,and ample open space is available on both sides of the stadium for park land.
Ito’s stadium has been called “a wake-up call to Western architects”, but stadiums in the U.S. are becoming increasingly energy efficient. The Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia and the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida, became the first NBA and NHL arenas to receive LEED certification last month thanks to an array of initiatives, including energy-efficient underground parking, water-conserving toilets, and carpeting made from recycled materials. American Airlines Arena expects to shave $500,000 off its yearly utility bills as a result of its conservation measures. Any guesses as to how much cash Taiwan’s stadium will save once the cost of the panels is paid off?