THE Black Cats are about to go green.
Sunderland AFC has had four electric car charging points and solar panels installed at the Stadium and Academy of Light.
The 14kw solar panels will not only fuel the car charging points, making them entirely carbon neutral, they will also provide the Stadium with electricity to be used on site.
Malcolm Potter, project manager at Tadea which managed the project, said: “Bringing together these two technologies made absolute sense.
“We’re seeing more and more electric vehicles on the road and by installing these charging points at areas experiencing a high number of visitors, not only are we catering for existing visitors we are also likely to encourage more uptake.
“Also, the addition of solar PV will dramatically reduce bills, make the charging points self-sufficient and give organisations an additional income.
“It’s a win-win really.”
It is hoped that the renewable technology will also attract visitors to the city as electric car owners are updated by email of any new locations where car charging points are introduced.
Colin Robinson, managing director of Energy Friend, which supported the project, said: “This is a great opportunity for SAFC to not only use renewable energy technology to save on its energy bills, but to bring new visitors to the city and as such generate revenue for the local economy.
“We are very lucky to be in a position with the help of our partner’s Tadea and UCS Renewables where we can provide this service to local business and, in doing so, help improve the local economy.”
Peter Weymes, facilities manager for SAFC, added: “As a premier league football club we pride ourselves on setting a good example to our fans through our environmental policies and like every other business recently we have been hit by ever increasing energy bills.
“The scheme therefore allowed us to solve these two problems.
“We are now benefiting from clean solar power which has reduced our electricity spend and the position on the roof of Black Cat House is a great visual statement to our fans and visitors that SAFC are committed to reducing carbon emissions.”