Homerun in Sustainability for the Kansas City Royals

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Major League Baseball fans are seeing green at Kauffman Stadium; the Royals have added solar panels for the 2012 season.

The park partnered with Kansas City Power & Light to install 120 solar panels on the roof the of the stadiums Outfield Experience canopy, with each panel set to produce 32,000kWh of energy a year. The 60 panels are on either side of the CrownVision board and can be seen from every seat in the stadium.

“KCP&L is proud to partner with the Kansas City Royals on this project — the largest in-stadium solar array,” said Chuck Caisley, KCP&L vice president of marketing and public affairs in a statement. “KCP&L has a long-standing history of supporting renewable energy projects and is now excited to be able to do that while supporting America’s national pastime.”

Since the All-Star Game took place at the stadium on July 10, the panels were put on international display thanks to the televised sport.

“It’s a great national platform, not only for the Royals, but for KCP&L to show how we’re kind of leading the way in managing these green initiatives," said Kevin Uhlich, the Royal’s senior vice president of business operations in a statement.

A kiosk was installed in the Outfield Experience in order to educate fans about solar energy and an interactive display has been set up to show fans the power that’s being generated from the panels; which allows those in the audience a better understanding of the benefits of solar panel installations.

The stadium is using additional resources to make itself as green as possible, including new ticketing options as well as sustainable food service initiatives.

Season ticket holders are now being offered paperless ticketing in order to cut down the amount of waste used. In addition, the restrooms are using post-recycled content such as 30 percent post-consumer toilet paper and 73 percent post-consumer paper towels.

The Royals have also partnered with Missouri Organic Waste to divert organic waste from food prep stations and suites to be used in composting, while uneaten food will be collected and donated to a local food bank, Harvesters.

Lastly, the 120,000kWh of energy used for the All-Star Game and any related events are offset with Green-e Certified Renewable Energy Credits supplied by Bonneville Environmental Foundation.

“Our baseball team and MLB is really trying to push the green initiative whether it’s recycling, buying recycled, recycling trash, or our water consumption,” said Bob Rice, vice president of ballpark operations and development. “It [the solar panels’ cuts down on our carbon footprint and hopefully triggers a thought with some of our fans to start to do the same thing.”

Other teams incorporating solar energy at their stadiums include the San Francisco Giants, Colorado Rockies, Arizona Diamondbacks, Boston Red Sox, St. Louis Cardinals and Cleveland Indians.