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To Become Energy Neutral, Pocono Raceway Adding 3MW Solar Farm

Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania hopes to become energy neutral upon the completion of a three megawatt solar array in the spring of 2010.

The $17-million project will use almost 40,000 photovoltaic solar panels, spread over more than 25 acres of land formerly used for parking, reports the Canadian Press.

The solar project is said to be the largest such installation in the sporting world, and will take care of the NASCAR track’s electricity needs as well as feed the grid.

“This new system will not only satisfy the raceway’s energy needs,” track President Brandon Igdalsky told the Pocono Record, “it will allow us to help power close to 1,000 homes and lower carbon dioxide emissions by 2,500 tons every year.”

Pocono Raceway is working with enXco and Evolution Energies on the installation, according to a press release.

The track is taking other steps to improve its environmental impact.

Recycling bins have been placed throughout the grandstands and suites, courtesy of sponsors like Pepsi, Anheuser-Busch and Waste Management.

Waste Management’s single-stream recycling program will provide another method for reducing the amount of solid waste from the track’s operations that otherwise would be diverted to landfills.

Pocono also is participating in the “NASCAR Green Clean Air” program, under which 10 trees will be planted locally for every green flag that drops during the Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500, the Record reports.

Increasingly, NASCAR is taking steps to put forth a more “green” image.

Here are some other sustainable initiatives from NASCAR:

  • The NASCAR plaza in Charlotte, NC, and “Daytona Speedplex” will be built to LEED standards.
  • A hybrid 2010 Ford Fusion raced at Homestead-Miami Speedway’s Ford 400. The race car is capable of traveling up to 700 miles a tank.
  • NASCAR has partnered with Sunoco to develop alternative fuel options.
  • Safety-Keen collects and manages the refinement or proper disposal of oil, brake fluid, coolant and cleaning solvents after NASCAR races.
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