The 2014 World Cup Goes Solar

world cup stadium

Here at Oliver, we offer solar energy services, and we were excited to hear that solar energy is a big part of this year’s World Cup. The game, which happens every four years, is in full swing and 32 countries are competing to be the ultimate champion of soccer (or “football,” as the rest of the world refers to it).

The tournament uses a multitude of playing venues, and this year, the host country of Brazil is providing the stadiums for the games. Many of these stadiums are fitted with solar power-producing panels so that the stadiums use less energy.

Both the Estadio Mineirao (Mineirao Stadium) and the Itaipava Arena have a solar electricity capacity of 1.4MW, while Rio de Janeiro’s famous Estadio do Maracana (Maracana Stadium) has a capacity of 500 kW.

One of the country’s largest stadiums, the Estadio Nacional Mane Garrincha, (which was demolished in 2010 to be rebuilt for this year’s World Cup), produces the most solar power of any Brazilian stadium. It’s fitted with a 2.5MW solar photovoltaic (PV) system that features solar panels around the perimeter of the roof. According to the British NGO Practical Action, it generates more solar energy than 11 of the participating countries combined.

To put 2.5MW into perspective, it’s enough solar electricity to power over 400 U.S. homes for a year (according to SEIA).

The $900 million Mane Garrincha stadium is eight stories high, seats over 72,000 people, and is considered the “greenest” World Cup in history. Besides producing solar power, it is naturally ventilated, uses an LED lighting system, and harvests and reuses rainwater. It hopes to achieve the LEED Platinum certification, which is the highest certification in the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design program. If granted the status, the stadium would be the first soccer stadium in the world to be Platinum certified.

*Photo courtesy of