Soccer-Italy's Udinese to fit solar panels on stadium roof

  • Football
  • Thursday, 22 Feb 2024

MILAN (Reuters) - Italian Serie A soccer team Udinese Calcio have teamed up with local utility Bluenergy Group to cover the roof of the club's stadium with solar panels, in a move they hope will increase support for green energy in the country.

The installation, work on which has just begun, will comprise more than 2,400 panels and will produce a daily average of 3,000 kilowatt hours (Kwh), Udinese and Bluenergy said in a statement, adding this will cover part of the needs of the arena.

The two partners are also considering adding a battery storage system to enhance the efficiency of the solar plant, expected to be operational in October.

"Football has an unparalleled presence in mass media and, in addition to our own responsibility to act in a moral way, we have a duty to spread messages that encourage fans to come together in the fight against climate change," said Udinese Calcio General Manager Franco Collavino.

Family-owned Bluenergy has been a partner of Udinese since 2018, supplying the club with energy exclusively from renewable sources for the last few years. It recently acquired naming rights to the stadium.

Udinese is one of the few Serie A clubs owning the arena where it plays, which is on the outskirts of the city of Udine, in north-east Italy.

The country aims to generate nearly two thirds of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030, the energy ministry said last June in its draft Plan for Energy and Climate.

However, the development of solar and wind farms faces multiple challenges including a lengthy process to win permits and in some cases resistance from local administrations and the public who fear damage to both the landscape and agriculture.

(Reporting by Francesca Landini and Elvira Pollina; Editing by Keith Weir)

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