The Lakers' New Practice Facility is Solar-Powered, Photos and Video Show
The team projects that the panels will pay for themselves in four years.
In terms of reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide, the new Los Angeles Lakers training facility promises to be the the equivalent of 6,745 acres of forest cover, thanks to a new solar roofing project undertaken in collaboration with LG Electronics USA and Vaha Energy.
The new facility, the UCLA Health Training Center, located in El Segundo, is set to become not only a state-of-the-art headquarters of the 16-time NBA champs, but also home to its minor league affiliate, the South Bay Lakers.
How do these solar panels work? All 456 solar panels will generate an estimated 245,000 kilowatt-hours annually, or about 16 percent of the center’s energy needs, according to the project’s partners. They also project an annual savings in energy costs of approximately $38,000 per year for the facility. Vaha Energy was responsible for the installation, employing LG’s 375-watt NeON® 2 solar panels, due to their higher efficiency and light absorption capabilities. (Installation was completed in April.)
According to Geoff Tomlinson, the chief operating officer of Vaha Energy, the new Lakers facility will offset approximately 12.6 million pounds of carbon dioxide each year.
“It is a privilege to have quality partners in both The Los Angeles Lakers and LG Solar for this project,” Tomlinson said in a statement released with the news on Monday. “The Lakers have shown a commitment to sustainability of which Vaha Energy has long been an advocate. As the developer of this project, we hope that Lakers solar panels will inspire others in their community to follow suit.”
Key government programs were instrumental in shepherding this project along, including Federal Tax Credits for renewable energy projects, which Vaha reports will allow the solar installation to pay for itself in roughly four years. Southern California Edison’s Savings by Design program also provided financial incentives and technical aid to the Lakers project.
The Chief Financial Officer for the Lakers, Joseph McCormack, declared on Monday, “We are thrilled with the addition of our new LG Solar panels. Vaha Energy identified the LG Solar panels as the perfect match for our new facility, and we are very pleased with the results.”
LG has big plans for more partnerships like this, they report, including a $28 million solar panel manufacturing plant on their 48-acre corporate campus in Huntsville, Alabama, where the Korean firm has had operations for four decades.
Ramping up in 2019, the new solar plant intends to produce 500 megawatts of high-performance solar panels annually and generate 160 new full-time jobs.