In what seems like an unlikely partnership between strange bedfellows, NASCAR has announced that the solar company SunEdison is now the Official Solar Energy Partner of NASCAR Green.
You know solar energy is hitting the mainstream when partnerships form between solar companies and industries that are highly dependent on fossil fuels for their livelihoods, and when those initiatives aim to educate the industry’s customers about the benefits of going solar. And that’s exactly what happened last week with the announcement from NASCAR about the solar partnership with SunEdison, and for the next three years, this partnership will focus on increasing awareness of the benefits of both commercial and residential solar energy.
The partnership with NASCAR will have SunEdison working to educate the millions of race fans about not only the financial benefits of going solar, but also the environmental aspect. SunEdison also has plans to work on commercial-scale solar solutions for NASCAR tracks, teams, and other partners, and as the adoption of solar for NASCAR events and participants grows, the initiative could serve to make solar energy appear a lot more accessible, and even desirable, to a new segment of potential solar consumers.
“SunEdison is excited to be partnering with NASCAR to highlight the benefits of solar both at and away from the race track. We look forward to being a strategic NASCAR Green partner and helping fans, partners and the sport save money while reducing their carbon footprint.” – Vikas Desai, SunEdison senior VP of residential and small commercial solar
Although a strategic partnership between a clean energy company like SunEdison and a petroleum-based industry like NASCAR may seem a bit odd, it’s actually in line with not only what the fans want, but also with the racing organization’s other green initiatives. The NASCAR Green initiative was formed in 2008, and since then has been working on different sustainability and environmental aspects of the industry, including the use of cleaner biofuels, the funding of large tree-planting programs, the adoption of solar energy installations at a number of NASCAR speedways across the country. NASCAR Green has also implemented large-scale tire recycling, oil recycling, and “has the largest recycling program in sports.”
According to NASCAR, a study of race fans commissioned last year showed a variety of environmental and solar trends, including the fact that “four out of five NASCAR fans believe the earth is going through a period of climate change,” two out of three of surveyed fans “feel a personal responsibility to do something about it,” and that a majority of those surveyed supported “buying cost-effective solar panels” for their homes.
“Solar power is a proven and reliable form of renewable energy and the technology is already making a significant impact throughout our industry. Our strategic partnership with SunEdison will help NASCAR further reduce the sport’s environmental impact and help continue to educate our fans on renewable energy.” – Steve Phelps, NASCAR chief marketing officer
NASCAR Green also has a carbon footprint calculator on its website, which fans can use to determine what the rough environmental footprint is for their lifestyle and habits.
August 4, 2015
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