Long Pond, PA
October 7, 2010
In recent weeks, Pocono Raceway was the recipient of three awards for its 25 acre, three megawatt solar installation that was dedicated on July 30, 2010. Pocono Raceway accepted the “Green Power: Make It” award from The Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future (PennFuture) for the development of a three megawatt solar power array, that will cut greenhouse emissions by nearly 3,000 tons a year. The award was presented at the organization’s 11th annual awards ceremony in Philadelphia.
The second award, the 2010 Bizzy Award for Best Green Marketing Campaign, was presented to Pocono Raceway by the Greater Pocono Chamber of Commerce at its fifth annual awards ceremony in Mount Pocono. This award recognized the Raceway’s development of the solar farm as well as its implementation of a number of “green initiatives” including recycling and tree planting.
The third award, the Valued Partner Award, was presented to Pocono Raceway by the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau in recognition for its solar power initiative.
The 25-acre solar installation, located adjacent to the 2.5-mile race track, is so large it’s visible from outer space. With its 39,960 photovoltaic modules drawing energy from the sun, it has become the primary electric energy source for the race track while adding electricity to the local power grid. “This is an important milestone for Pocono Raceway and our sport,” said Brandon Igdalsky, President of Pocono Raceway. “Pocono Raceway strongly believes in the commitment to operate in a more environmentally responsible way and is proud to be the first race track to power our sport with clean, renewable sunlight as the world’s largest solar-powered sports facility. This solar power system, built with timber, steel and solar panels made in the U.S., satisfies all our Raceway’s energy needs, while helping to power local homes. This project demonstrates real sustainability and proves that any business that truly wants to go green…..can do it.”
The installation will produce more than 72 megawatts of energy over the next 20 years. The environmental attributes associated with the system will offset more than 2,700 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually and will generate enough power to provide the electricity needs for close to 1,000 homes beyond the power needs of Pocono Raceway.
Amid the recent push to find alternative energy sources, the benefits of solar power have been tested and proven time and again. It is virtually silent, produces zero emissions and is the most readily available energy source on earth.
Pocono Raceway, in its effort to become the world’s first, truly “green” sports facility in operation was the first raceway to be part of the PepsiCo Dream Machine program. With this program, Dream Machine bins and kiosks were located throughout the Grandstand and Infield to make it easier for race fans to recycle bottles and cans that, otherwise, might have been thrown away. The Raceway also placed a Dream Machine kiosk near the ticket office entrance, which is located on Long Pond Rd, and is available to the general public 24/7.
Pocono Raceway participated in the “NASCAR’s Green Flag Tree Planting Program”, which was launched in 2009. The initiative’s goal is to plant 10 trees for every green flag that drops at NASCAR Cup races. NASCAR threw 8 green flags during the 2009 Pocono 500 race; therefore 80 trees were planted locally in Monroe County.
Pocono Raceway will be “green” in 2011 as all the electricity used during Pocono Raceway’s 2011 NASCAR race weekends (June 10-12th Pocono 500 and the August 5-7th Pennsylvania 500) will be provided by the solar farm, recycling will be in full force and additional trees will be planted.